It wasn’t that long ago that car seats were a luxury to most parents – kids road in the back of the cars, usually without seat belts. They road in the back of the station wagon without a seat, sometimes crammed in next to the groceries. Seat belts weren’t mandatory, and sometimes kids road in the floor or even sitting upside down!
Fast forward 30 some years, and with research it’s been found that car seats save lives (imagine that!). But the scary part is that over 80% of these car seats are not installed or used properly, causing an even bigger safety issue!
So I wanted to share some Car Seat Safety info that someone passed along to me, so that you can be sure you’re little ones are safe while you travel!
Know Your Car Seats Expiration Date. Did you know car seats expire?! Purchasing or re-using an older car seat can be dangerous. Over time the car seats material can fatigue and start to crack, severely hampering the seat’s ability to protect your child in an accident, also the engineering improvements and safety regulations are always changing. Most car seats are good for six to ten years – but always check the seat for more information, or call the manufacturer.
Replace Car Seats Involved in an Auto Accident. Unfortunately I had to learn this one first hand – somewhat like the seat expiring, the seats ability to protect your child after already being involved in an accident lowers quite significantly. Even in a minor accident, it is always best to replace the car seat since the hardware of the seat has been compromised. Most insurance companies will pay to replace car seats involved in an accident, be sure to contact your claims adjuster for details on how to get it replaced!
Know What Car Seat Your Child Needs. From ‘pumpkin’ seats, to rear facing, front facing, and booster seats, you need to do your research. Every child is different and it doesn’t always go by age. Check height/weight requirements on the seat, as well as with your state.
Get the Seat Installed Correctly. I never left this one to chance – though I’m sure there are many parents who could properly install the car seats correctly, I always recommend going to your local fire department to have them install the seats in your vehicle for you. With special training (and those muscles!) they know the proper way to have the seat installed…and its FREE. .and you get to see hot fire men… why wouldn’t you??
All kidding aside, motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of children in the U.S. don’t risk your child being another statistic!