How To Check A Car Seat? Tricks And Tips

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
8 min read

When should I have my child’s car seat inspected by a professional? A few precautions should be followed before purchasing a used car seat to ensure its safety.

Many people will try to sell their products at a lesser price than they are worth because they don’t realize how harmful it may be if they aren’t properly checked by someone who understands what they are doing.

You may feel certain that your child will be safe and secure in their car seat if you follow these simple procedures when purchasing or inspecting a car seat.

Locate all of the specific information about your car seat.

The expiration date should be checked for safety reasons and, if expired, is no longer worth owning.

-Look for any damage, such as rips or tears, that could reduce the material’s efficacy in an accident. It’s too unsafe to use it again if it’s significantly damaged, because of the dangers of using it again under those circumstances.

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Prior to making a final decision about purchasing an item online, verify whether or not there are any recalls related with it and ensure that they have been repaired accordingly by checking their website.

What is the California car seat law?

If your child is less than 57 inches tall, the law mandates that they be securely strapped in a child safety seat.

It is also illegal to transport more passengers than the number of seats equipped with safety belts and prohibits anyone from allowing a person under the age of 18 years to ride on any part of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with required passenger restraints, including without limitation footrests that may cause serious injury or death if occupants contact them during an accident or other loss-of-control situations.

When should a car seat be forward-facing?

Until your child reaches the maximum weight or height allowed in your car seat, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat. Children between the ages of four and six typically begin to show signs of scoliosis around this time (112 centimetres).

In addition, each convertible safety seat has a maximum weight and height limit for both rear-facing and front-facing use. Rear-facing your infant beyond these guidelines is often recommended by pediatricians. Follow their advice!

Taking this route ensures the greatest degree of security. Due to the fact that they have outgrown this sort of highback booster, if the tops of their ears are over this cushion, they’ll need a new one.

Can you leave the hospital with a convertible car seat?

As your child develops, a convertible car seat allows you to switch from a rear-facing to a forward-facing position. You should leave the hospital with either a convertible or an infant seat because infants are at danger of injury in an accident and need additional protection..

Even though having two distinct seats, one for each use case, is the safest bet, it is possible to get by with just one convertible seat!

You should consider your child’s weight range, height requirements, and installation options while shopping for a new car seat. The latter two will influence how long the child can use the current car seat before it needs to be replaced.

If you’re buying from a dealership, make sure to let them know you plan to use the car seat in multiple vehicles, as some have different ways of installing the seat.

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The car seat is too loose in your car

To make sure your seat is secure, grab the base of the seat firmly with both hands. Pulling the belt path should not let you to move the safety seat more than one inch in any direction. If you’re able to, then it’s too loose. According to car-seat inspectors, this is the most common error parents make.

A youngster in an unfastened seat is at risk of crashing into the back of the front seat and suffering serious facial or head injuries in the event of an accident.

The quick fix is to read the car seat’s instruction handbook and the section of the owner’s manual on the installation of the vehicle’s car seat. The LATCH system or a locking seat belt must be used to fasten each car seat in the vehicle.. In order to properly secure your child’s car seat, insert your knee in the seat and put all of your weight on it (for an infant seat, use your arm). Tighten the seat belt to the point where it’s securely fastened. Then, as many parents forget to do, secure the child’s seat belt.

The harness is too loose on your child

You can tell whether your child’s car seat harness is too loose if you can still pinch the fabric between your fingers, says Stephanie Tombrello, the executive director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., a California-based company that provides child safety seats.

In the event of a collision, “a child who’s unfastened in his harness can easily come out of his seat,” adds Tombrello. It’s possible that the child could be seriously wounded if he or she impacts the car’s interior or another passenger. Child ejection from the vehicle is the worst-case scenario.

Simple fix: Tighten the harness. Ensure that the straps are tight and there is no slack in them.

Your infant is facing forward too soon

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride rear-facing in a car seat until they reach the seat’s maximum weight or height limits. Previous recommendations from the AAP said that children should remain in a rear-facing position until they are at least two years old.

The danger: A baby’s spinal cord is still growing when the bones that protect it break. It’s easier for the back of a youngster to withstand an accident when he or she is rear-facing. An infant’s hefty head can propel him forward, exposing his spinal cord and placing him at risk of paralysis or death if he faces forward.

The quick fix is to just adhere to the established procedures. Until your child reaches the seat’s maximum weight or height, keep him rear-facing in a car seat.

Your rear-facing car seat is not at the right angle

Take a seat and see if it’s comfortable. Keep your child’s head from falling forward by making sure the seat is at a proper angle. Make sure you read the directions to find out how to modify your seat’s angle if necessary. According to, all rear-facing chairs should have built-in angle indications or adjusters.

An infant’s airway is about the diameter of a soda straw, making it extremely vulnerable to asphyxiation. It’s possible for your baby’s unusually heavy head to slip forward and shut off her airway, preventing her from breathing.

The quick fix is to put the safety seat on a flat surface instead of the typical sloped back seat for adult passengers. Many safety seats, on the other hand, come with a pedestal that can be adjusted to accommodate different heights. If you don’t have one, do what technicians do during car-seat inspections: Make sure it’s securely fastened.

When it comes to protecting the baby’s feet in the back seat, San Diego police officer and child passenger safety teacher Mark McCullough recommends using parts of cut-up swimming pool noodle. “Towels that have been tightly folded up work nicely, too.”

Should I check my car seat as luggage?

You should check your car seat as luggage if the driver does not need to drive it. If they’re behind the wheel, you should avoid doing so. This is due to the fact that airport baggage handlers may be confused and at risk if they check a child’s safety equipment with their bag.

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Car seats can be checked if the driver is not required to use them. Do not follow them if they are driving. This is because checking a child’s safety equipment in with their bag could be dangerous and confusing for baggage handlers in terms of airport security.

How do you travel with a baby?

We’ve always taken our baby on domestic flights as a family. However, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable enough traveling internationally, so my husband and I are considering taking a trip this summer by ourselves for the first time!

For the first time since she was just two months old, we’ve decided to go on a solo vacation as a family without her.

Make no mistake about it, now that you know how adventurous we are, especially since he enjoys trekking so much, I have learnt a few secrets and tips over the years.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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