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When to replace a child car seat after a car accident.

Parents who make sure their children ride in a car seat appropriate for their age and weight can help prevent serious injuries if a crash happens. Following an accident, parents may need to replace their child’s car seat to retain optimal safety.

When parents assess whether their accident meets certain criteria, they can make an informed decision about whether or not to buy new car seats.

Conditions for replacement

Minor car accidents rarely damage vehicles to the point where car seats need replacement. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people should only replace car seats in moderate or severe car accidents. Serious accidents may include conditions such as the following:

  • Airbags deploy
  • Visible damage to car seats
  • Occupants sustained injuries
  • Vehicles disabled

Help with replacement

Car seats are an investment for most parents. Following a car accident, parents may already feel the pressure of mounting financial strain due to medical bills and property damage. Fortunately, says that most insurance companies will provide a replacement car seat for free. Parents should never reuse damaged car seats. They may have the option of recycling them. Some retail stores provide a discount on a new car seat if people provide an old or damaged car seat to recycle.

When parents receive a new car seat for their child, they should make sure it is properly installed in their vehicle. Car seat manufacturers provide specific instructions for car seat installation based on the vehicle type, as well as the child’s age, weight and height. Parents should follow these guidelines to guarantee optimal protection for their child in a traffic crash.

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