How safe is your child’s car seat?

Parents want to do what they can to keep their children safe. Most understand that car seats are an important safety feature when they’re taking their kids places.

Some people aren’t too familiar with certain points related to car seats. Understanding these and putting them into practice can help to improve their child’s safety.

What type of car seat does a child need?

It’s best to follow the information on the car seat you’re using for your child. Typically, a rear-facing car seat is suitable for children who are up to 40 pounds. It’s important to keep them in a rear-facing seat as long as possible because of the protection this position offers for the head and neck.

Children who are front-facing should remain in a five-point harness until they outgrow the seat, which is usually at 65 pounds. They can move into a booster until they can fit into the car’s seatbelt safely.

When does a car seat need to be replaced?

All car seats have expiration dates on them. They should be replaced when they expire. They may also need to be replaced after a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that car seats involved in a crash should only be used again if all of these criteria are met:

  • Nobody in your vehicle was injured
  • You drove the vehicle from the crash site
  • The air bags didn’t deploy
  • Car seat is undamaged
  • Door nearest to the car seat wasn’t damaged

If even one of those points isn’t true, the car seat needs to be replaced. You should also replace it if you have any doubts about its condition.

Always ensure you and your children get medical attention after a crash. It’s particularly difficult to spot certain injuries in children, so having them evaluated can help to put your mind at ease. You can opt to seek compensation for the damages related to a crash that was the result of someone else’s negligence. Missouri law has time limits for these cases, so be sure you don’t waste time getting the process started after the crash.