Every time you and your family climb into your vehicle and hit the highway, you want to know your kids are safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using rear-facing, front-facing and booster car seats until your children are tall and heavy enough to use your vehicle’s seatbelts. Even though you may have a variety of damages after a car accident, your child’s car seat may not be one of them.
While restraint manufacturers make car seats to meet or exceed safety standards, child car seats are not invincible. That is, following an accident, you may need to replace your child’s car seat to be certain your young passenger is as safe as possible on the road. That is not always the case, however. After minor accidents, car seats often continue to be both reliable and effective. Here are four signs that you do not need to replace your child’s car seat after an automobile collision.
1. Your vehicle’s airbags did not deploy
Your vehicle’s airbags help protect you and your passengers from serious injuries during an automobile accident. Still, airbags do not deploy for every collision. If your car’s airbags stayed inside their housings, your child’s car seat may not have sustained enough damage to justify replacement.
2. No one in your vehicle sustained an injury
Minor collisions are common on New York’s roadways. Even though a fender bender can be stressful, it may not cause severe injuries. If everyone in your vehicle is fine after an accident, your child’s car seat may be fine as well. Of course, you should not assume you escaped from any accident unscathed. Always ask a medical professional to examine you and your passengers for signs of injury.
3. Your vehicle’s damage was far from the car seat
As you likely know, not all automobile collisions cause the same type of damage. Generally, the further your child’s car seat is from the impact site, the less likely it is that you need to swap out the car seat for a new one. If you had to call a tow truck to remove your vehicle from the collision scene, though, you should probably replace your child’s car seat.
4. The car seat shows no signs of damage
Finally, no matter whether your child was in your vehicle at the time of the collision, you must carefully examine the car seat for signs of damage. If it does not have breaks, cracks or other damage, you likely do not need to purchase a replacement. Remember, though, child restraints receive ratings based on child height and weight. If your child has outgrown his or her car seat, you should replace it as soon as possible.
Your child’s safety is paramount. Still, replacing a functional car seat can be both expensive and wasteful. If the above situations apply to your automobile collision, you may not need to replace your child’s car seat after an accident.