When to Switch Your Child’s Car Seat
How to identify when your child needs a new or a new type of car seat? Give this article a read and you will get all your concerns answered!
There is always a lot of confusion among parents when it comes to realizing when they should switch their child’s car seat. Well, there could be many signs indicating that your child is now in need of a new car seat, but regulations based on age, size, and weight can make finding the signs a little confusing.
To help you out in this quest, we have created an overview of when you should switch or replace your child’s current car seat.
Please read below for more information.
When should you change or replace car seats?
Car seats for babies and toddlers are very important, as they are designed especially to protect your little ones in the event of unfortunate accidents or car crashes.
According to a report published by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), restraints used in vehicles prevented injuries and fatalities among 325 children aged below four. So, it is highly crucial for parents to ensure that their children are seated in a car seat that is ideal for their size, age, and weight, and is also in its best condition.
So, when is the best time to switch or replace your child’s current car seat? Here are some signs you should look out for.
1. It no longer fits the child’s current shape
The main purpose of upgrading your child’s current seat is to switch to a style that accommodates your child better. Children grow—it’s a universal fact, so you cannot be using the same car seat that you purchased when your child was one now that he is four. You need an upgrade that fits your child better and protects them in unthinkable events.
· Use a rear-facing infant car seat for your little one for as long as possible, because these models are lightweight and very convenient to use. When your child outgrows a rear-facing infant car seat, upgrade it with a convertible model that can also be installed in a rear-facing position. Experts suggest that children should stay in the rear-facing position of a car seat until they are at least 4 years old, or reach the maximum height or weight limit on this position.
· You can switch your child to a forward-position car seat once he is big enough for a rear-facing convertible car seat.
· Once your child reaches the maximum height and weight limit on the convertible car seat, graduate him to a forward-facing car seat enabled with a fitted harness or a booster seat. Usually, your child is required to travel in this seat until he or she is at least 8 to 12 years of age
2. The car seat has damaged parts
If you notice any cracks or other signs of damage in the structure of the car seat, it is wise to get rid of it as soon as possible. A car seat with damaged structure or parts is in no condition to provide your child proper protection against crashes, defying its core purpose. If you see minor signs of damage in parts, you can also take it to your car seat manufacturer and get it repaired; especially if the seat came with a warranty.
3. The car seat is expired
Consumers don't usually pay attention to the fact that car seats come with an expiration date. The plastic used to manufacture a car seat can lose its ductility over time and turn brittle, making it very easy to break, wear, or tear. An expired car seat is no good for your child’s safety. For instance, if you are using a car seat for your baby that you have already used for your older child, it might be near its expiration date.
You can check the label or the instruction menu to find the expiration date of your child’s car seat. If you are unable to find an expiration date on the label, check the manufacturing date and count six years from there. If your car seat is already six years past its manufacturing date, it is probably not safe to use.
4. Your child is constantly colliding with the car seat
If you are driving peacefully and you notice that your child is constantly colliding with the back of his car seat, it's a sign of concern. Car seats are meant to grip your child firmly, so they do not move back or forward when your car suddenly jolts. If your child is constantly colliding with the seat, that could mean damaged parts or a loose harness. It is best to get it checked by a professional or replace it as soon as possible.
5. The car seat has suffered a crash
If your car has already been in a crash, there is a high chance that your child's car seat is now not fit for use. A crash can seriously damage your child's car seat's structure and parts and make it more vulnerable in the event of another crash.
So, it is best to check your little one’s car seat after a minor crash and get it checked by a professional.
Car seats are important for your children until they are at least 8 years old. It protects your child during crashes and lets them enjoy a safe and fun ride. Please track your child's car seat needs according to their age, height, and weight, so they can have maximum protection at all times.
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