If you’re expecting your first child or have an infant, this blog’s especially for you! The number one killer of children ages 1 – 12 is car crashes in the US. The best way to protect them is to make sure they’re in the right seat at the right time and in the right way.
As parents and grandparents, we want to protect our children and grandchildren. That’s why we put them in car seats in the first place. None of us would dream of placing our child in a defective car seat. The first step to ensure that doesn’t happen is to register your car seat.
Registration: Most of us never complete the product registration forms that come with something we buy. They are either tossed, recycled or filed. None of those help you if your child’s car seat or booster seat is recalled. So stop everything, find the form, complete it and send it in. If you can’t find the form, you have three ways to register your car seat;
- On-line at the company’s website. Most of the manufacturers such as Britax, Chicco, Evenflo and Graco have a registration page on their website.
- If your car seat manufacturer doesn’t have a registration page, you can have the US Department of Transportation register your seat for you. For more information click on, http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/register/childseat/index.cfm.
- Call the manufacturer or the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration at 888-327-4236.
Recalls: By law, manufacturers are required to notify you of a recall. This is provided you registered your seat of course. You can also search online to see if your car seat model has been recalled by clicking on this link, http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/. You’ll be able to search recalls for car seats as well as vehicles and tires! There’s some pretty interesting information you can access here!
Want to make sure you installed it correctly? To find the inspection facility nearest you, click on this link http://www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm.
Post-Accident Use: The NHTSA recommends you replace a car seat after a moderate or severe crash. This is to ensure the car seat operates at the optimal level to protect your child. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced after a minor crash. A car crash is considered minor if all of the following apply:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged
- None of the passengers in the vehicle were injured in the crash
- The airbags did not deploy (provided your vehicle has airbags)
- There is no visible damage to the seat
Babies and children are a gift! Let’s keep them safe. Have a suggestion, comment or question? Post it in the comments section below or on our Facebook or Google + page.