Your baby is your most precious cargo in a commute. Safety is always paramount on the road. This leads to a pressing question: Do parents need to replace a child car seat after a collision? Is the seat still suitable for use? When is a collision severe enough to warrant a seat replacement?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should replace a child seat if it is involved in a moderate to severe crash. This leads to the question: What’s the difference between a minor and moderate collision?
NHTSA considers an accident minor if:
- You can still safely operate the car immediately after the collision
- The impact did not cause the airbags to deploy
- The car door nearest the child seat is undamaged
- None of the car occupants sustained injuries that required medical attention
- Damage is limited to the aesthetics, such as a small frame dent or chip in the auto paint
- Even if the crash is minor, parents still need to inspect the child seat. Remove the cushion and padding to look for cracks. Parents should also remove the seat and reinstall it back into the car. If it no longer fits in place like it did before, then replace it.
Consult the user manual. Most contain instructions on how to inspect the seat after an accident. Some manuals suggest replacing the seat even in a minor collision regardless of whether the child was in the seat.
Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body after a collision. While we don’t inspect baby seats, we can inspect the car to determine the severity of damage. Most of our servicing comes with a warranty. To know whether to replace a child car seat after a collision, contact the seat manufacturer.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood