Do car seats and side impact bags play well together?
October 23, 2006 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Do the side impact air bags need to be deactivated in order to use a child's car seat safely in the back seat?

It seems to be impossible to get an actual declarative answer about whether the side-impact airbags need to be deactivated in order to use a car seat in the back seat (in one of the left or right seats, not the center).

This page says "consult your car's manual". The car's manual says nothing about this. The manufacturer of the car seat couldn't give me a definitive answer. I called the dealer and they had to look it up. After doing that, they said they can do it, but they've only ever gotten one request to do so before, which leads me to believe that this probably is not common practice.

How do I figure out if this is necessary or not? Presumably, it's an extra hazard for the adults in the car in case of accident, so I don't want to do it if there's no point.

If you used a car seat in the rear of your car, did you deactivate your side-impact air bags? How did you arrive at the decision to do so?
posted by Caviar to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
Best answer: The NHTSA has a FAQ on side-impact air bags that has everything you need to know.

Basically, there is a very low risk because most of the current ones only protect your head, and that's higher than a car seat.
posted by smackfu at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2006

Questions like this can also be directed to your local police and/or fire - they usually have the answers, and some even have training class on how to properly install and seat-belt your little ones in.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 11:48 AM on October 23, 2006

Great question, and something I wouldn't have ever thought of.
posted by SirStan at 3:24 PM on October 23, 2006

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