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Have you checked your car seat lately?

Steve Wagner

We’ve had a great deal of interest in the topic of car seat safety, so we wanted to go over a few more tips for parents and caregivers regarding child seats.

It is a good idea to do occasional spot checks on your child’s car seat to ensure it is in top condition to prevent injuries. Look for rips, tears, fraying, or other damage on the straps. Check for cracks or damage to the base and plastic parts of the car seat, and check the buckles to make sure they are functioning properly.

Caring for your car seat

  • Never wash the straps on your car seat with soap or detergent. Most car seat covers and pads are removable and can be washed, but the straps are designed with fire retardant materials. Washing them with anything other than a wet rag can wear down that material and cause it to break down, weakening the integrity of the restraint system.
  • Retire a seat once it has been in an accident. Even if you were just involved in a fender bender, your insurance company will replace any car seats you have in your car. Seats are designed to absorb impact, and once they have done that, the integrity of the plastic may be compromised. It may not be damage you can see from the surface, but it is never something you want to risk reusing.
  • Never buy a used seat. It may seem like you are getting a good deal, but you have no idea how these seats have been cared for by previous owners, or if they have been in an accident before.
  • Check the expiration date on your seats! Many parents don’t know that seats DO expire! The date should be engraved into the plastic on the bottom of your seat, and it should not be ignored. After a given amount of time, new technology is introduced, new systems are created, new laws are passed, and old car seats may not meet current standards. Not only that, but older car seats may have materials that are beginning to wear down and not function fully. Don’t risk your child’s safety! Purchase a new seat!
  • When getting rid of an old seat, don’t be tempted to resell it. Manufacturers request that you cut the straps, and recycle the seat.

Remember to keep an eye out for any safety recalls on products you use for your children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps a database of all child car seat recalls at SaferCar.gov. If your child has been injured from a faulty seat, or if they were injured due to the misuse of a seat, we may be able to help. Give our product liability and car accident attorneys a call at (888) 204-8440 for more information.

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