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Car Seat SafetyChoosing a car seat is a huge decision for parents. If the unthinkable ever happens and you find yourself in an car accident, you want to do everything you can to make sure your child is protected. Before you even think about the resulting auto repairs coming up, you need to ensure the safety of your children. So, how can you make sure your child has the best protection available in your vehicle? Well, it starts with making sure you choose the right type of car seat.

Different Types of Car Seats

If you’ve ever shopped for a new car seat, you know that there are many different options available. The first thing you need to do is narrow it down. Some vehicles are better suited to a particular style of car seats than others. So when considering a particular seat, make sure that it is compatible with your vehicle. The type of car seat you need is determined on your child’s age and/or size. The following chart will help you determine which type of car seat is appropriate for your child.

Can You Buy a Used Car Seat?

Raising a child can be expensive to say the least. Just the basics of providing food, clothing and shelter is oftentimes a bit overwhelming on a new parent. This is why so many parents accept hand me downs or shop garage sales and consignment shops for items like clothes, shoes and toys. Many of us here at Good Works Auto Repair are parents too, so we totally understand. However, accepting or buying a used car seat is NEVER a good idea.

Did you know that car seats have expiration dates on them? It might seem strange, but think about it. Like most items, their components will break down over time, especially when exposed to the hot Arizona sun. They are obviously left in your vehicle year-round – no one wants to haul them back and forth from the house to the car each time you use them. This causes them to deteriorate at a more rapid rate than they would otherwise.

The reason for the breakdown is because they are constantly being exposed to insanely hot temperatures in the summer and in more northern climates, extreme cold in the winter. This temperature change can wreak havoc on most things in your vehicle – car parts, engine components, vehicle interiors and of course car seats! If you are thinking you still might consider buying a used car seat, at least check the manufacture expiration date first to make sure it isn’t expired. The date is usually printed on a sticker somewhere on the car seat.

Additional Car Seat Safety Information

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Diego, it is estimated that 93 percent of new parents leaving the hospital have made at least one critical error when installing the car seat or in positioning their infant in it. Let’s repeat that – NINETY THREE PERCENT! That is crazy! Overall, it is estimated that 75 percent of car seats of all ages of children are installed incorrectly.

When car seats are installed properly, they can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent. This is why it is vitally important to make sure your car seat is properly installed. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly and follow all the instructions carefully when you are installing your car seat. If you are still unsure, many communities have car seat inspections stations where you can go to make sure your car seat is properly installed. Just do a google search to find one near you.

It should go without saying, but if a car seat has been involved in a previous accident, you need to replace it. Even if there is no visible damage, there could easily be damage that isn’t seen. If you buy a used car seat, it is impossible to know whether or not it was ever involved in an accident. The safest course of action is to just buy new.

Here at Good Works Auto Repair, we team up with NARPRO and Safe Kids of Maricopa County every year to collect old, used and expired car seats for recycling. Getting these unsafe car seats off the road is the goal. For more information on this annual event, check out NARPRO Events.