It’s a very sad but true fact. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration car crashes are a leading cause of death for children one to 13 years old. And many times the proper use of car seats could have prevented many tragic losses. The safety of our children is literally in our hands when it comes to properly using and installing car seats.
Recalls and Expirations
You could already own a car seat from a previous child or purchase a perfectly good one from a garage sale, but there are some things you should know before you strap in your baby. For example, did you know that car seats can expire? Materials like plastics and attachments can show signs of fatigue, so car seat manufacturers recommend only using a car seat for six years (but a little longer for boosters.) You can check the sticker on the car seat to find its expiration date.
Since learning about a car seat recall may be hit or miss (especially if you’ve purchased a second hand one), check here to plug in the model number of your seat to make sure it is still safe for the road.
Once you have your car seat installed in your vehicle, make an appointment with your local car seat inspector. She/he will make sure you’ve installed it correctly and that all the boxes are checked to ensure a safe ride. The Parents Central section of savercar.gov will guide you to the closest site inspection.
It’s the Law
Sometimes it can be confusing because the specifics for who must ride in what type of seat change. Possibly a first born didn’t need to sit in a booster after a certain age, but a second born may have to because the age limit has changed. Be sure to check here for the most recent child passenger safety laws.
Remember safety first!