2 Hour Car Seat Rule: All You Need To Know

young mother putting baby boy in the car seat.

A car has to be one of the most luxurious vehicles one could have, for sure everyone wishes to sit in a car — but not the babies! According to a 2015 study, 31 babies (younger than 2 years) died due to suffocation or strangulation of the seat belt. Reason: “long period of sitting in a car”. But for every problem there is a solution, in this case, it is the 2 hour car seat rule.

So, what exactly the “2 hour car seat rule” is and what precautions and tips must a parent take for their babies while riding a car. In this piece of writing, you shall witness this rule and also how a baby came back from a death poll.

What Is A 2 Hour Car Seat Rule?

A recent survey showed that only 42% of the parents were aware of this car seat rule, which shows that more than half of the parents did not even know about the rule. This certainly is an alarming situation for the babies’ health and well-being.

The rule says that “the baby must not sit more than 2 hours in a 24 hours day-long period in a car seat”. 

Reason: it is said that when a baby is in a semi-upright position for a prolonged period of time it can result in:

  1. Babies’ spines are not structurally developed; they are still in a “developing” state, therefore, a prolonged period in the same semi-upright position (shown below) can harm babies’ spine and may cause inabilities.
  2. There are chances of babies falling asleep during the ride, which may cause restricted air to the lungs. However, this can lead to severe damage, or may you call it a “death threat”.

Why Must You Follow The 2 Hour Car Seat Rule?

Whether you are a parent or simply taking care of a child you must know that following a 2 hour car seat rule is a must — learn why?

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Michelle Clark, Neonatal Unit Sister at DRI, England showed a major concern over the lack of awareness regarding babies sitting in a car seat. Therefore, he studied hard and came up with his findings to help the parents raise their children in a better way.

The following are the 2 main Michelle’s findings that all parents must know:

1. Breathing Problems:

As mentioned that babies’ spines are not like adults, which means not “developed spines”, therefore they need extra care. The heads of the babies must be held up to get maximum air to the lungs. However, in a car seat, the baby’s head eventually pulls down resulting in less air to the lungs causing breathing problems for the baby. This was one of the reasons why the 2 hour car seat rule was made.

2. Transport Babies In Car: The Only Reason For Car Seat

The statement must seem a little complex but it’s the easiest — the car seat must only be used as a means of transportation and not as a sleeping platform for a baby.

However, due to any means, if the baby falls asleep he or she must be taken out of the car seat immediately and transferred the baby to the safest flat soft surface.

Top 6 Useful Tips To Avoid Car Seat Cot Death By Michelle:

Take a look at the best and most useful tips to keep your babies safe even during the long journey:

  1. The baby must be with its parent or carer, — must sleep in a crib or cot on their back
  2. The car seat must not be used inside the house for the baby to resting
  3. Keep an eye on the baby’s neckline and prevent the baby from scrunching up and over
  4. At the time of buying a car seat you must check if it is age appropriate and fitted correctly
  5. The car seat must be kept at a distance that it is easily reachable by an adult
  6. The babies find it difficult to regulate the temperature, resulting in quick overheating. Make sure to remove the headgear of the baby
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Does Sitting In A Car Affect Newborn Infants Differently?

In the mainstream media, the question was raised that whether newborn infants can be affected differently if they sit in a car for more than 30 minutes.

In November 2016, a research was carried out by researchers at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, the University of Southampton, and the University of Bristol found that when newborn babies or the premature babies sit in a car for more than 30 minutes or an exact of 30 minutes cause their heartbeat and beating rate to be increased and the oxygen and blood levels get lower than to the cot lying straight on the floor.

This situation happens only in two conditions — (1) stationary in a car seat, and (2) moving in a car.

2 Hour Car Seat Rule: FAQs For Parents

The following are the top questions asked by the parents when it comes to the baby’s safety and how to take them along on a car drive.

Q1: What Is The Easiest Car Seat?

The rear-facing infant car seats are the safest for babies, however, some parents become tempted by front-facing seats to carry their child around. The front-facing seats are best because they give more support to the neck and head, also, they tend to have higher height limits. This type of car seat can allow children up to 40 pounds to be seated peacefully.

Q2: When Is The Best Time To Upgrade My Baby’s Car Seat?

Once you have noticed that your baby is growing and the car seat may get smaller for him or her — it is the time to upgrade it. The baby’s seats are of 3 stages:

  1. Infant-only for the babies that are 20 pounds only
  2. Convertible aged of 0+ and at least 20 pounds
  3. Booster which lies in the category of babies weighing 40 pounds to 100 pounds

Q3: How Long Can A Newborn Baby Be In A Car Seat? [Updated 2022]

As mentioned earlier and also, in 2022 newborn babies can stay up in the car for at least 30 minutes and not longer than that. Also, a newborn baby that is not big enough to fit in the car seat shall not be forced to sit in it.

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Q4: What Is The Easiest Way To Remove A Safety First Baby Car Seat From The Base?

The simple method to do it is to press down on the release button located between the child’s legs.

NOTE: the color may be different depending on the model you are using. So, once you have pressed it down the next is to pull it up to detach.

Death Threat: A Baby Almost Lost Its Life Staying In The Car Seat For More Than 2 Hours

This must be a piece of advice for all the parents that if you are a new parent then make the car seat your best friend, because if not then this can be very dangerous.

A recent study reported that Austin, USA has recorded 5 major accidents of parents’ carelessness in 3 months, fortunately, all babies are safely handed to their parents but this is an alarming situation for the upcoming parents. People are now looking for a car accident lawyer in austin more than ever.

Also, a Scottish family shared their experience of how their newborn daughter almost died:

“The Clark family was returning home after a short trip, however, it was a time of bedding. So, they put their older child to bed, and then took the younger child out of the car seat — who was seen to be sleeping peacefully; suddenly started turning red and then blue, certainly, the couple rushed to the hospital. The doctors told them their daughter almost died from oxygen deprivation from the long stint in the car seat — and when she was lifted out of the car seat the sudden oxygen entrance in the lungs traumatized her body into shock. The couple was fortunate enough to report to the hospital on time or else they would have lost their baby”