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2:05 min| 262,966 views
Is the rear center seat always the safest location for a car seat? Learn what factors to keep in mind.
Safe Kids Worldwide
our site blogger and mom
Wes Bender: Typically, it's just a common belief that the safest spot in a vehicle for a child is the center of the rear seat, the center position of the rear seat. If it's a three-seat vehicle, then that middle seat. It is the furthest point of impact from either side or the front or back of the vehicle, so in that regard it is the safest location.
Now, the better question is: What is the safest location for me to install my child's safety seat in my vehicle? So that would be the ideal, we'd start with that location. And if the child restraint works in that location with the installation techniques, whether it be seat belt or LATCH, and it works, and it's compatible, that's great, that's where we'll start. But we should never compromise a correct installation just to get it in that center location. You may have to look – maybe it's not the right restraint for that situation. You may have to change the restraints if you want to stay in that position.
So, yes, it's the best location as far as point of impact, but it may not be the best location depending on the type of restraint you are trying to install.
Amy Graff: Okay. Kind of a related question, if you have two kids, do you want to put them together or do you want them sitting apart? I know with my kids that comes up.
Wes: That is a very good question too, and you really have to take a number of things into account here. One, if you have the two children and they are both in restraints, do the restraints actually fit side by side? If they fit side by side, then I think the next question is really to the parent: Do they want the children side by side? What's most convenient for them? Do the children get along okay to be side by side? And what's easiest to get them in and out of the vehicle? Again, the most important thing is: Can you install those restraints correctly to have them side by side?