September is Baby Safety Month and there is a lot of focus on hidden dangers in and around the home. There are many resources for keeping baby safe. Click on the latest Top Ten Hazards in your house
You might be surprised to learn that there are also hidden dangers when it comes to your child’s car seat. Here are some of the most common ones to look out for.
Did you know that car seats may become LOOSE over time?
Car seats should be installed tight enough that the seat cannot move more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back when checked at the belt path.
If you grab the top of the car seat or infant seat, you might be able to move it all over the place. The belt path being used for the installation is the proper place to check for tightness. After all, this is where the car seat is secured to the vehicle during a crash.
Be sure an older child or adult sitting in the back seat does not accidentally unbuckle the car seat’s seat belt or lower LATCH connectors.
The harness webbing might need to be replaced.
With all the juice, milk and other fluids that can spill while your child is in their car seat, the harness can become stiff and brittle which could be a potential danger to your child.
Be sure to clean the harness webbing according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If repeated cleaning is necessary, it might be a GOOD IDEA to swap out the harness on a regular basis.
Call the car seat manufacturer to see if they have limits on how many times the harness can be cleaned before it needs to be replaced.
Car seats have EXPIRATION dates.
It’s not just about the fabric cover wearing away. Some integral parts of the car seat may wear out over time. If the majority of the car seat is made up of blow molded plastic, it can weaken and degrade over time as well.
Car seat manufacturers and safety advocates want your child to have the latest car seat SAFETY technology. Getting old seats out of the market and new ones on the shelf is a big plus and makes new features available to everyone. Let’s face it; we all want the latest and greatest features in our phones and other electronic gadgets so why wouldn’t we want the same for our child’s safety?
Expiration dates may be embossed on the shell of the seat, on a label and/or in the manual. If you’re not sure, call the car seat manufacturer.
September 13-19 is National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week. Events are happening all across the country. A friendly certified CPS Technician is waiting for you to arrive at an event so they can teach you all about your child’s car seat, how to install it, and above all else, ANSWER any and all of your questions. You can find a local event here.