Child and Infant Car Seats Need to be in Good Shape to Work
Anyone who has had kids knows that the car seats they ride in take a beating. Kids squirm and fidget and strain in the seats. The endless clipping in and out of 5 point harnesses, passing the seats down from one child to another, food and drink spills, all of these take a toll on the seats. Any accident, or dropping of a car seat can also cause damage to the plastic frame of the seat, or to the harnesses which have been strained.
Recently CBC News highlighted some car seats which had fraying harnesses that were breaking off on some seats. It's crucial to remember that car seats only work effectively when they are in good condition. Any visible wear to the straps, cracks in the base, or buckles that are hard to do up/undo should be warnings to you to replace the seat. Seats also have an expiry date on them. Note the date and consider disposing the seat if you are still using it after the date.
Here are some Transport Canada Tips on Car Seat Safety:
- Ensure you install all seats according to the manufacturer’s specifications. You can find regular clinics / check points for installation in your community at police stations and fire halls.
- Purchase a new car seat.
- Check the Expiry Date.
- Check for damage to the frame from sunlight, dropping or accidents.
- Check the straps regularly for wear and tear, or damage form cleaners, food and beverages.
- Register with the manufacturer to make certain you get any recall notices.
- Place your child in the seat each and every time you are in the car. If you start from infancy and don't waiver kids won't know that they have any other option. No seat, no ride.