Children have a higher risk of injury in an accident than their adult counterparts. When parents do not use child car seats, booster seats or appropriate seat belts for children, their risk increases drastically. While the car seat may protect your child during a severe accident, you do not want to continue using the car seat after.
You must replace the car seat after any moderate or severe accident.
How car seats protect children
Young children and babies need extra support, and car seats help cradle and support their bodies to reduce the risk of injury. Infant seats, for example, protect the baby’s neck, head and torso. Car seat restraints also keep children from being flung from the vehicle. Manufacturers design protective measures for adults. Seatbelts, airbags and seats can protect an adult or teenager, not a child.
Why replace the car seat after an accident
Car seats can become damaged in an accident. While the seat may protect your child during the accident, it cannot continue to protect the child after the accident compromises it. The car seat may be okay in minor accidents where you can drive away from the scene and no one sustains injuries.
However, if the vehicle door near the car seat sustained damage or the airbags deployed, you should not keep the car seat. Even if you cannot see the damage, it does not mean the car seat did not sustain damage.
Under no circumstances should you keep a child’s seat after a moderate or severe accident.