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Do Parents Use Car Seats in Taxi Cabs?

Mommy Dearest: Car Seats and the City

Mommy Dearest —

We are planning a trip to visit friends in New York City and are staying at a hotel on the opposite end of the city from where they live. In making our plans for the trip, we discussed meeting up at a central location, and our friend said the best way to get there was via taxi. I mentioned that I was not planning on bringing a car seat with us (I found a car service with car seats to carry my toddler and I from the airport to the city) and she laughed and told me that no one uses car seats in taxis — they simply put the child on their lap and hold on. I was appalled. Aren't car seats required whenever you transport a child in the car? What would you do in this situation?

— Concerned About Car Safety Mom

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Dear Concerned About Car Safety Mom —

For most parents, car seats are up there with cribs and strollers in terms of key new baby purchases. For urban dwelling parents, many of whom don't even own cars, the car seat is often one more space-consuming baby accessory that spends most of its time gathering dust. Though the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission is exempt from child safety restraint laws, you must decide for yourself what makes you most comfortable. If you opt out of the taxi option, you won't be alone. Fifty-four percent of LilSugar readers have said they won't drive without their lil ones secure in their seat. Perhaps you could find a bus or subway route that will get you to your destination without the worry or toting along a car seat.

— Mommy Dearest

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Join The Conversation
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
very interesting thanx to the locals for commenting. we've gone in a taxi with our 1 yr old (at the time ) not in a car seat, unexpectedly, and were very frightened.
dstorm dstorm 7 years
I live in NYC and have a 2-year-old. I have never once driven with him without a carseat. We took cabs back when he was small enough to do the snap-n-go and since then we've taken the bus and subways and walked. I have friends who take their kids in cabs all the time with no restraints. I have friends who did the baby in the bjorn with seatbelt on both of them thing until they were too big. For me, I just wouldn't be able to forgive myself if something happened because I didn't put him in a carseat. I also have it a little easier because my in-laws live in the suburbs and keep our carseat in their car. I do think we may start taking cabs with him when he's a bit bigger, maybe when we can use a booster instead of that heavy carseat.
Pampire Pampire 7 years
Car seats are a must! Even if you aren't going fast your child could still get seriously injured or even death in an accident! Who cares if you have to lug around a car seat when your childs life depends on it. Like another poster said I suggest the car seat with the stroller attachment or if the childs older a small booster seat. Off topic- I never have gotten why they don't have seat belts in school buses either. :shrug:
grablife365 grablife365 7 years
"Just chill" is the dumbest approach to child safety that I have ever heard. It's preventable so prevent it by taking a seat with you when you know you're going to be in any car. You get a seat belt so why shouldn't your child have the option to be just as safe?
girlshop75 girlshop75 7 years
You can control yourself, you can control your child, but you can not control your cab driver and other crazy drivers out there. I imagine even mild whiplash for a small child can be very dangerous.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Oh and 'the key is to just watch your child'?? WTF? What does that have to do with anything in a car?
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Just chill? Seriously, I'm far from being a helicopter mom, but I'd never have my child in a car without a car seat! That's not risking a scratch or a broken arm, it's risking death!
backinblack backinblack 7 years
In many cities car services will provide a car seat for you for free or for a small extra charge.
mstrauss mstrauss 7 years
I hate to admit it, but when we come home from trips where we didn't need a carseat and we use a cab, we hold on to our son in our laps. It doesn't feel safe by any means but dragging a carseat all over the place just for a quick ride is also kinda crazy. I think that being on a bus can be just as unsafe in NYC as being in a cab, so if you would put your son in your lap on a bus where the drivers can be crazy, then a cab should be okay. The subway seems to be the safest way to travel with a baby/child without a carseat as long as you watch them closely. I also like the idea of a Baby Bjorn.
girlshop75 girlshop75 7 years
If you have one of those car seat stroller frames, you can bring your carseat & stroller frame and use both while in the city. I live in NYC and I can tell you that NYC cabbies are CRAZY. Alternatively, you can put your baby in a Baby Bjorn and use a seatbelt. Just be sure that he's facing you in the carrier (similar to a rear facing car seat) and the head restraint on the Bjorn is high enough to support his neck so that if you're in a fender bender, his neck is supported. I try to take the subway or bus everywhere but if I need to take a taxi I always use a car seat.
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