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Grandparents are the best, but sometimes their ideals and nostalgia of the past inhibits them from making the “safest” decisions when it comes to car seat safety. Car seat safety is not just a mom being overly paranoid, it could save a child’s life.  We love our grandparents and are so thankful for all that they do, but when it comes to car seat safety, we must put our children first. We don’t skimp on car seat safety.


Car seats are not created equal. Some, like Diono car seats, come with award winning safety. Diono has won numerous awards from Baby Center, Parent Test Parent Approved, Mom Trends, the National Parenting Center, and more.

Diono car seats are award winning, top of the line, and among the safest out there. The Rainier All-In-One car seat is the ultimate in car seat safety. The Rainier is completely convertible from 5 to 120 pounds, literally lasting a child’s “car seat” lifetime. The seat is made of premium plush interlock knit fabric, making it ultra comfortable. For added comfort, infant body support cushions and memory foam are utilized.

Diono prides itself on its saying of “worth the weight”. The Rainier is made of a full steel frame and aluminum reinforced side walls for unparalleled safety. The fully integrated steel frame is riveted together with thicker engineered plastic to withstand severe crash forces. The seat also comes with a 12-position aluminum reinforced adjustable headrest. Extra-deep sidewalls lined with energy absorbing EPS foam give the Rainier superior head and body protection. It is also equipped with a SafeStop® energy-absorbing harness. This technology sets the Rainier seat apart from others on the market.


Babies are constantly growing, thus putting them at the greatest risk for injury in a crash. A baby that is rear facing is in the safest position for their head, neck, and spine due to the cradling effect created by the carseat. When a child is in a crash rear facing, their head, neck, and spine move together in a straight line, thus eliminating the whiplash that occurs when forward facing. If a child is forward facing in a crash, their spine can be stretched resulting in serious injury, even death. Babies that are forward facing before the age of two are at a much greater risk for injury than those rear facing. Studies show that kids who are rear-facing are five times safer than those forward facing. This video from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia serves as an excellent tool to explain car seat safety.

By law, all children under 20 pounds must ride rear-facing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear facing until the age of two.

Diono Rainier can be used rear facing for up to 50 pounds. Many people argue that the child is uncomfortable because their legs are often folded or touching the end of the seat as they grow. This is not the case; children often prefer to sit cross legged. By sitting this way, your child will not do any harm to his or her legs. The Rainier also comes with expandable sides and a long seat bottom that provides leg support for comfy road trips.

    • Important things to remember when rear facing:

    • Always place a rear facing car seat in the back of the vehicle. A baby can be seriously injured in a crash sitting in the front seat due to the side airbag deployment.
    • The shoulder strap must be at or below shoulder height.


Inertia: remember that from science class? Objects in motion remain in motion until acted upon by outside force. In other words, if a child is in a car crash they will continue to move in the direction of the crash until they are stopped. The more secure a child is, the less movement that will occur. This is very important when referring to a child’s head, neck, and spine. The less they move, the less damage that can be done. Children are still growing; their bodies are so vulnerable that the potential for damage in a crash is extreme.

The American Academy of Pediatrics again recommends that children remain rear facing as long as possible – this being once they have outgrown the height and weight requirements for their car seat – until at least two years of age. At this point the AAP recommends a child remain in a 5-point harness in the rear of their car until they reach the car seat’s height and weight limit. The Rainier has the highest weight capacity of any car seat for a 5-point harness – up to 90 pounds. Remember to adjust shoulder straps and reroute latch when moving from rear facing to forward facing. This video helps explain why a 5-point harness is important.

    Tips for Forward Facing:

  • The shoulder straps should be just at or above child’s shoulders.
  • Straps should lie flat in a straight line without sagging or twisting.
  • Your child is getting too tall when the tops of his or her ears reach the top of the seat.


When used correctly, a booster seat raises a child so that the seat belt is properly positioned across the body. The Rainier converts to a booster for children between 50 and 120 pounds and up to 57 inches in height. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research shows that using a booster lowers a child’s chance of injury in a crash by 45% compared to seat belts alone. If your child’s seat belt crosses your child’s belly rather than at the hip bones, serious internal organ damage and/or spinal injury can occur in a crash. This video goes into more depth about the need for a booster seat. Bottom line, seat belts are for adults. Your child will need a booster until they are around 4 feet 9 inches tall, around the age of 8-12.


Head injuries are the most common injury for children in car crashes; by using the tether connecting strap while rear facing, it helps reduce seat rotation. Using the top tether with a forward facing seat can reduce the forward movement of a child’s head by 4-6 inches, thus putting less strain on the child’s head and neck. It also helps to prevent the child from hitting the seat in front of them.


Straps are meant to fit snugly to prevent the child from moving too much within the seat. When checking to see if your straps are fitted correctly, follow these rules:

  • The harness must be snug so you cannot pinch a fold in the harness material after buckling in your baby.
  • The straps should lie flat in a straight line without sagging or twisting.
  • The top of the chest clip should be positioned at armpit level.


This is probably true, it probably is cold and that baby probably does need a coat – just not in the car. If you place a child in the car seat with a bulky coat or blanket on, you will not be able to get the straps secure enough. Thus going back to inertia, your child’s precious little head, neck, and spine can be thrust further due to the straps not being secure enough. Cover your child with a warm blanket or lay a coat across them and over the car seat straps when traveling.


Car seat installation could not be any easier than with the Rainier and the support provided by Diono. Their unique SuperLATCH system makes installation quick, easy, and secure. First, there are detailed instructions in a pamphlet attached to your car seat. Next, guidelines can also be found here. Finally, you can find installation videos that provide examples of how to properly install all car seats. What more could you want, other than someone to help you? Well, use this National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Safe Kids USA to find a car seat inspection station close to you (note: these technicians are not employed by Diono).


Unfortunately, car seats do expire. Materials break down naturally over time as well as wear out from everyday use. While all Diono car seats are top of the line, technology does advance and change over time. Diono Rainier models expire 10 years from the purchase date.

As if you needed any more incentive to love the Diono Rainier….

      • Free shipping on all car seats
      • Space Saving design – slimmer allows for extra passengers
      • Sits low on vehicle seat for easy child boarding and improved safety performance in a crash
      • Voluntary car seat warranty Exchange Program for Occupied Restraints Involved in Severe Crash
      • Extra-deep sidewalls lined with energy absorbing EPS foam gives Rainier superior head and body protection
      • Extended rear facing
      • Support cushions for newborns and infants from 5 lbs up
      • Aluminum reinforced adjustable headrest
      • Full steel frame for unmatched safety
      • Premium plush interlock knit fabric
      • Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-50 lbs
      • Highest forward-facing capacity of any car seat in a 5-point harness: from 20-90 lbs (up to 57″ in height)
      • Converts to booster mode for children between 50-120 lbs (up to 57″ in height)
      • SafeStop® energy-absorbing harness
      • Unique SuperLATCH system makes installation quick, easy, and secure
      • Folds flat for travel and is FAA certified
      • Cover is machine washable and dryable
      • Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation



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Interested in learning more about another Diono car seat? Check out our Car Seat Guide: Diono Radian RXT.

Photo Credit: Ashley W 
Sources: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia