Are car seat travel trays safe?

I have a toddler who’s started to get a bit restless whenever we’re driving somewhere. I was thinking about purchasing a travel tray for her car seat so she can eat or do activities while we’re driving. I’m just worried about safety. Are car seat travel trays safe for toddlers?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Toddlers can definitely get a little rambunctious when they’re not able to run around. However, you can take solace in knowing that car seat travel trays are safe, provided they’ve been properly crash-tested, are made out of soft materials, and you choose the right model.
When you’re shopping for a car seat travel tray, look for products certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With this certification, you know that the seat has been properly tested and meets the safety standards required by the federal government.
The safest car seat travel trays are usually made of soft plastic or a collapsible material. By avoiding rigid materials, you lessen the risk of injury to your toddler if you’re in a car accident.
The final way to determine whether you’re purchasing a safe car seat travel tray is by choosing the right model:
  • Over-the-leg trays: These travel trays are specifically for children who can’t quite sit up on their own. Since you have a toddler, you should probably avoid these trays. While they’ll still work, they don’t keep your child snugly in the car seat.
  • Lap and chest trays: For toddlers, this is the ideal choice. These trays ensure that your child can’t wiggle around, which is integral to their safety in the event of an accident.
While a safe travel tray can put your mind at ease, don’t forget about the right
car insurance
policy to protect you, your child, and your vehicle. If you haven’t reviewed your policy recently, download the
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MORE: 8 pro tips for long car rides with kids
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