Most parents do a great job at making sure their children are properly restrained in a car seat. But even what may appear to be simple mistakes could actually be putting children’s lives in danger.
Not Checking History of a Used Car Seat
It’s best to purchase a new car seat because it comes with the instructions and information regarding the model number and date of manufacture.
But if you absolutely must purchase a used car seat, make sure you acquire information about the:
- model number;
- date it was manufactured, and
- recall information (if applicable).
Also, when purchasing a new car seat, parents know it has never been damaged in a crash. This isn’t the case with a used car seat, so check its history. Parents should even avoid car seats that were involved in a minor collision.
Loose Straps and Installation
The child’s harness straps should be secured tightly. If left too loose, the child could climb out of the seat or be ejected from it in the event of a crash. It’s also important to make sure the seat itself is installed securely. If the car seat can be moved more than an inch from side to side, it’s too loose.
Choosing the Wrong Car Seat for the Child’s Age and Size
Always use a car seat that is designed for the child’s age. Although there are general age recommendations with regard to moving a child from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat or moving up to a booster seat, it could be too soon based on the child’s size.
So always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular car seat and do not rush your child to a new seat until he or she is ready based on age and size.
If you’re in an accident and your child suffers an injury, you may have a valid claim against an at-fault driver and/or a manufacturer if the car seat was defective and led to injury. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates to discuss the details of your crash – 800-550-0000.