Of all the difficulties that come with having more than one child, fitting them safely into the car shouldn't be the most challenging. After all, parents have enough to worry about. Enter the wise minds behind this car seat for parents with multiple kids, which is an absolute godsend because it combines exactly what busy moms and dads need: safety and convenience.
Recently shared on Instagram by model and mother of four, Danielle Lloyd, this car seat can fit three or four children in one row — all safely and comfortably — from newborns to 12 year olds. This innovative seat was created by by the British car seat company MultiMac and is reportedly the only one in the world capable of holding so many children, according to PureWow.
Unfortunately for those of us living across the pond, so far, these car seats have only been declared safe by European standards and not in the United States yet. But, MultiMac is reportedly undergoing testing to comply with both American and Canadian regulations, so hopefully it won't be long until it can bless American moms and dads with multiple car seats.
These seats are also available in rear-facing. According to a recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old. The only exception to this guideline is if the child exceeds the height or weight limit for their seat — such limits can generally be found on the back of the carseat. Despite the advisory of the AAP, Parenting.com reported that many parents decide to flip their children to forward-facing around age 1.
Lloyd's Instagram post of the car seat has since launched a bit of a debate. Some are worried about the comfort of the children sitting in the seat. One commenter wrote, "They can't have much room though? Seems far too wide for an old 3-seater just looking at it."
Another added, "I wouldn't be able to get four kids like that unless they are squashed up looks uncomfortable for a small car."
Aside from comfort, another concern with this seat is price. Lloyd herself commented that the car seat had cost her a whopping £2,000 (around $2,700). Ouch.
Choosing an appropriate car seat is an important decision for the safety and well-being of children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in the United States, 663 children ages 12 years of age and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes during 2015 and in 2014 more than 121,350 were injured in crashes. One year, the CDC found that more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of car seats at least some of the time.
Simply having a safe car seat is not enough. It is important that you are sure to correctly install the car seat as well. Your greatest resource for an individual car seat is the manufacturer's instruction manual. As a general rule, ensure that the seat is tightly secured by the seatbelt — there should be no more than one inch of movement, from either side-to-side or front-to-back when holding on to the bottom of the seat near the attachment points.
However, even the safest of car seats installed perfectly will not perform to the best of its ability if it is not placed in the correct location in the car. Children are safest when their seats are placed in the back seat away from the airbags. If a carseat is placed in the front seat when the airbag inflates, it could cause serious or fatal injuries, as ChildCarSeats.org reported. Putting young children in front-facing carseats before 2 years old also runs a risk of injury from airbags.
No matter how nice of a car seat you choose, it should never be used to hold children outside of the car. Car seats are meant to keep children safe during car travel, but that's it. Therefore, they should not be used as a replacement for general child seats. Leaving babies in a car seat for extended periods can be dangerous — it can cause breathing difficulties, lead to flat spots, or increase symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Taking all of these car seat constraints into consideration, what mom of many little ones wouldn't want to find a seat that allows all of them to sit safely and comfortably? While the United States has yet to approve a multiple child car seat, perhaps the publicity generated by Lloyd's post will speed things up a bit.
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