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When To Replace a Child Car Seat

A Child Car Seat can be expensive, but they can mean the difference between a bad day and a life-changing injury. The right child safety seat for your child will change over time. Here are three times you should be sure to upgrade your kid’s seat.

When Your Child Outgrows the Car Seat

No safety seat is designed for every child at every stage. Until their second birthday, babies should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. Your child should face backward until he or she reaches the top recommended height and weight for your safety seat. If you purchased an infant-only car seat, you’ll need to upgrade earlier to something that can handle a higher weight and a forward orientation. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats are built stronger and can keep your child facing backward, and therefore safer, longer.

Around age 4 or 5, your child will outgrow the forward facing safety seat and move up to a booster seat, still in the back seat. Make sure you know the upper limit of the car seat in height or weight to be sure your child is properly protected.

If Your Car Seat Gets Recalled.

Each company has its own safety standards for child safety seats. But Consumer Reports tests each model’s strength and effectiveness in an accident. Sometimes, those tests or lawsuits resulting from injuries can cause some child car seats to get recalled. Make sure you keep a close eye out for recalls on your brand of car seats to keep your child safe.

After Any Car Accident

Car seats need to be replaced after anything but the most minor accidents. Even when you can’t see damage to the car seat there may still be broken or strained parts on the inside. Should you have a second accident, the car seat could not protect your child as it should. Replace the safety seat any time you have a crash where:

  • You can’t drive away from the scene;
  • The car door nearest to the child safety seat is damaged;
  • Any passenger is injured;
  • The air bags deployed;
  • There is any visible damage to the car seat, no matter how small.

If you and your child suffer a car accident, be sure to contact your no-fault insurance provider right away, and include the car seat in your damage claim so you can replace it as soon as possible.

Improper car seats can cause serious injury to your child. Whether he or she has outgrown the safety seat, or there is a defect or structural damage, you could be putting your child at risk of injury and developmental delays every time you get in the car. If you have been in an accident, contact the no-fault experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan for a free consultation.