Personal. Caring.

Should you replace your child’s car seat after a crash?

Parents who are traveling with children should ensure the child is always strapped into the appropriate child safety seat. If there’s a crash, that seat can make a huge difference in the outcome for the child. When a crash does occur, one thing parents may wonder is whether they need to replace the car seat or not.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets very specific guidelines for when replacing the child’s car seat is necessary. It’s best to follow these unless the car seat manufacturer recommends replacing the car seat after any wreck.

What are the NHTSA guidelines for replacing a car seat?

The only time the car seat can continue to be used after a crash is if the crash is minor. In order to qualify as a minor crash under NHTSA guidelines, every one of the following points must be true:

  • The car seat doesn’t show signs of damage
  • The door nearest to the car seat didn’t sustain damage
  • The car was driven away after the crash
  • No airbags in the vehicle deployed during the crash
  • There weren’t any injuries to anyone in the vehicle containing the car seat

Sometimes, parents opt to replace the car seat out of caution. This is a good idea if you have doubts about whether the car seat is safe for the child or not.

Anyone who’s been in a motor vehicle crash should pay close attention for signs of injuries so they can get the necessary medical care. Seeking compensation for financial damages after a car wreck is possible if it was due to negligence. Working with someone familiar with these matters enables you to focus on healing while they take care of the legal aspect of the case.


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