Can I take a toddler in an Uber?
How do you take your toddler with you when you depend on rideshare services like Uber? And is it even possible to do so? Uber has become the rideshare giant in the industry. And you would think they offered services such as proper seating for infants and toddlers. Well, they do. But are you as a parent aware of these services?
The purpose of our guide here is to educate parents who depend on Uber properly. Uber, in itself, is great. But like anything else you involve your toddler in, there is information for you to be a better-prepared parent.
So let’s get into our subject of taking a toddler on a Uber trip to town.
Uber’s rules regarding infants and toddlers are modeled after the laws in the city in which they operate. While the rules vary from city to city, most are based on one ground rule.
Infants who are 15 months old or less are required by law to ride in a rear-facing car seat. The car seat must be positioned in the back seat if the passenger seat area contains an air-bag. All-new model cars have a front-seat passenger air-bag. All car seats will be properly fastened in the rear seat of all Uber rideshare vehicles.
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There are several different types of car seats available. Be sure you use the proper seat for your toddler’s age and weight.
The Uber driver has the right to decline you a ride if you have your car seat, but it won’t properly fit in their car. Or if they are not comfortable with you installing one in their car.
You, the parent, are responsible for making sure the car seat is installed the right way. And the toddler stays in the car seat.
Should I assume the Uber driver will have a car seat?
In a word, no. It is not the responsibility of the Uber driver to provide you with a car seat. So do not assume your driver will have one.
Some Uber drivers do travel around with a car seat because they more than likely have a child of their own. And there is some driver who has one on standby just in case. But you need to see it from their point of view.
If they ride around with a car seat, it’s going to be difficult. Especially when they receive a call for three people and luggage going to the airport, it is your child and your job to keep the child safe.
But Uber does offer an added service.
Uber Car Seat
Uber Car Seat is a service offered by Uber in mostly larger metropolitan areas. If you will need a car seat open up your Uber app. Under vehicle type, select UberX. Then select the car seat option. An automatic $10 surcharge is applied to your trip.
When Uber arrives, there will be one car seat. The particular brand of car seats they provide is different from driver to driver. It will be a forward-facing model for children at least 12 months old, 22 pounds, and 31 inches tall. Your child is too big for a car seat if they are 48 pounds and 52 inches tall.
You might want to call your Uber driver once the seat is requested to confirm if the seat is available. If your child is under 12 months old, you must supply the car seat.
Prepping Your Toddler for Uber
You are a parent. Not just any parent; you are a great parent! Every day, you try to teach your toddler all of the right stuff they are going to need in life. It is never too early nor too late to start reinforcing “stranger danger” to your child.
Now you and your toddler are about to get into a car with a total stranger. Be prepared for many more of these type situations throughout their life. You tell them something and then do the opposite.
Your toddler is old enough to know the person driving the car is a stranger. And you are good enough of a parent to be able to explain why. You have just reinforced the concept of ‘there are exceptions to every rule.’ Your toddler trusts you, so choose your words wisely. Proceed with caution as to how you are going to explain it’s okay this time.
If you are still concerned about saying one thing and doing another, get another parent’s opinion. If a couple of smart, savvy parents put their collective heads together, a nice outcome can be reached. And as always, shower your child with love and affection.
But I’m Just Going a Few Blocks!
Do not assume your Uber driver is going to allow you to skip the whole car seat safety rule. If you are only going two blocks and you have a child, you use a car seat.
Some Uber drivers have been known to refuse to let a child ride in a parent’s lap. That is their right. They can refuse offering service to you if your child is not properly restrained.
Maybe it’s true that you are just going down the street, but you have to put your child in the proper car seat. It is the law, and a Uber driver isn’t going to break the law over a three or four dollar fare. Not for you or anybody else.
Hopefully, you now know a few facts regarding the use of Uber as it relates to your child. While Uber does offer a car seat service, it is ultimately up to you the parent to provide the safety item for your child.
And it is also your responsibility to console any fears that your child may have towards using Uber. Not all situations in your child’s life are going to be easy ones.
But using Uber for a ride to the town can be a simple, carefree situation for you and your child. Just be the better-informed parent.