Is Your Child’s Car Seat Safe?
Don’t Risk it, Check Today
According to a report from AAA, seat belts aren’t the only things that save lives. At least when we’re talking about little kids. When using the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or another restraint system that is specifically designed for children, the risk of injury during an accident goes down by 82%! But that leaves many of us wondering: are we using the right product?
There are four methods of restraining children in vehicles. Infant car seats, forward facing car seats, booster seats, and a seatbelt. When used appropriately they all can help to prevent the leading cause of death and injury in children.
Which Restraining Seat do you Need?
With three major types of car seats, how do you know which is appropriate? Fortunately, there are some pretty clear guidelines on that.
We are supposed to keep our children rear facing until at least the age of two. But that doesn’t mean you must turn them around. Instead, it means that you shouldn’t turn the seat around before that time. Rear facing is always safer than forward, so keep them facing back for a while longer.
Check the weight limit on the car seat. When your child is approaching it, then it’s time to start shopping for a new car seat.
Check the expiration date on the seat. Yes, car seats expire. Some will list the expiration date, but all will list the date of manufacture. If you can’t find the expiration date, then go by the rule that if it was manufactured 6 years ago or longer, it’s done for.
Finally, make sure you’re replacing the car seat if it has been in a collision.
Why Replace a Car Seat after an Accident?
After a moderate to severe crash the seat should be replaced. The crash has put a lot of strain on the plastic and metal parts, they may have endured micro-cracking that you can’t see with your bare eyes. However, if the car seat is involved in another crash, those cracks could cause it to fail.
But what about minor crashes? How do you determine minor from moderate? Here are a few general rules to follow.
- Could you drive away from the wreck? It was likely minor.
- Was the door nearest to the child damaged? If not, it was likely minor.
- Was anyone injured? Minor accidents don’t result in injuries.
- Did the airbags deploy? If not, then it may have been minor.
- Can you see damage to the car seat? Even if it’s minor and you see damage, replace it.
Now keep in mind that you can have a major accident that meets one of those guidelines (sometimes people aren’t injured in horrendous crashes). But if your wreck meets all of the checkpoints, then you were likely in a minor crash. But if you don’t feel safe, spend the $100 or so and just get a new car seat; your child’s life is worth it.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Vehicles
Here at Big Sky Collision, we pride ourselves on making sure that your vehicle has been restored to factory safety standards after a wreck. But that’s just the beginning. Ensuring that you have the right car seat, and it is in proper working order, is the best way to protect your children against the dangers of an accident.