Car seat mistakes can have deadly consequences: Namely, they can injure your child — or fail to keep them completely safe if you’re in an accident. Here are two common car seat problems and solutions.
A lot goes into finding that right car seat for your child. With so many factors to consider — including age and weight of the child, type and brand of car seat, cost of the car seat, etc. — it can be easy to forget key factors. Here are two common mistakes that certified technicians often find when speaking with parents.
Car Seat Mistakes: 2 Problems and Solutions
Car Seat Mistake #1: Getting a used car seat without doing your homework
Why: Not only could a secondhand seat have been in an accident that compromised its safety, but car seats expire six years after their date of manufacture because they degrade over time and technology is constantly advancing.
Solution: If you don’t know the car seat’s history, don’t use it. You’re better off buying a new seat so you can ensure that its safety standards are up to date. However, if you are considering a used car seat for your child, make sure:
- The car seat has not been recalled or expired, or is more than 6 years old
- The seat has never been in a car crash
- It comes with instructions and has all labels showing the manufacture date and model number
- It has no visible damage or missing parts
Car Seat Mistake #2: Forgetting to check if your child has outgrown their car seat.
Why: Sometimes it is easy to forget that your child is outgrowing the car seat’s weight or height restrictions. In the event that a child has outgrown the recommended car seat, it not only is canceling out the warranty, but it also puts your child at serious risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Solution: Make sure to check the tag to know the car seat’s height and weight restriction as soon as you as get the seat. Set up reminders in your calendar periodically to check the car seat’s limitations and your child’s height and weight. When you check the seat, it is also important to make sure the straps are positioned at or above the kid’s shoulders for forward facing seats, and at or below for a rear-facing seat.