Should You Replace Baby’s Car Seat After a Crash?

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A car seat is intended to save your child’s life in case of an accident. It does so by
cradling their heads thus preventing their weak spines from snapping or their pelvic bones from crushing into their little internal organs. So yeah , a car seat is very important.

Installing it correctly is just one part , you have to be sure that you are using it correctly and that it is the right size and age/weight limit for your child. You also have to be 100% sure that the car seat has not expired and you have to think about what will happen to your car seat if you do get into an accident.

If your baby was not in the car at the time of the accident and your car is not a complete
write off , there are still factors you may need to consider as the car seat may have
damages that will compromise its ability to keep your little one safe.

How to know that you may need a new car seat after an accident. Here is a
simple checklist:

  • If anyone was hurt, you need a new car seat. It’s really that simple.
  • Did the airbags deploy? If they did, then you need to replace your car seat.
  • Although deployment of airbags does not always happen during a major accident.
  • Was the door on the side of the car seat hit? If it was hit, then you need to get
    your child a new car seat.
  • Were you able to drive away in the same vehicle after the accident? If so, a
    minor accident may not need for you to replace your car seat.
  • Can you see any damages? If you are able to see any damages to the seat such
    as the plastic looking whiter, dents, scrapes or small fractures then please get a
    new car seat.

The guidelines above have been set by The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. These guidelines apply to any car seat that has been involved in an
accident (even if there was no child in it at the time).

Several tests have been done by various agencies on car seats using sleds with
different speeds (up to 40 miles per hour) and then tested again to access if a damaged
seat is more likely to fail in case of another accident (it will).

Car seats in Minor accidents, like those tested at 9 miles per hour and passed the
accident checklist did not show any damage but if you are worried, then you may get another car seat to give you peace of mind (there are some manufacturers who will
recommend replacement even after a minor accident).

One last thing, if the accident was not your fault and you need to replace your car seat,
the other driver’s insurance should pay you the cost of getting a new car seat. This
however may be different per state due to varying insurance laws.

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