Focus on Car Seat Safety With This 5-Minute Check

Child Passenger Safety Week reminds us to ensure that little co-pilots are always secure in the car.

Woman placing baby seat with infant into back seat of vehicle

When selecting the right car seat, you’ll consider the brand, cost and aesthetics. But the most important factor is ensuring the seat provides a perfect fit. Child Passenger Safety Week, which takes place in September, provides an excellent reminder to perform a five-minute safety check on your car seat. Here’s what to look for. 

  • Size up the situation: Make sure your fast-growing child still actually fits the size and style of the seat. Even if it looks like your little one still has room to grow in the car seat, their height and weight may be beyond what the manufacturer recommends for the seat. Check the owner’s manual for these recommendations. 
  • Ensure straps are tightly fastened: Over time, car seat straps and anchor straps tend to loosen from wear and movement, so check them regularly. Keeping the straps flat and flush will help you tighten them appropriately. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual and car seat manual for recommendations.
  • Check the expiration date: Car seat manufacturers are constantly looking for new and improved ways to build products that help protect kids in cars. What was the standard a few years ago may not be the same today. To help parents keep an eye on new developments—and to replace the car seat if there’s excessive wear and tear—manufacturers place an expiration date on every car seat. Even if the seat seems perfectly functional past the expiration date, the safest choice is to replace it. 

    If you’re unsure of the expiration date, you can visit the site for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There, you can check for any active recalls. You can also register your car seat, meaning you’ll be notified of any forthcoming recalls and safety notices. 
  • Trust a pro: For peace of mind, have a professional check the fit and function of your car seat. Call your local fire station to see if they are certified to install car seats. Or, go to the nearest AAA owned Car Care location AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility to ensure that your child rides as safely as possible

Register Your Car Seat

Registering your car seat makes sense: It gives the manufacturer the ability to contact you about recalls and safety notices. It’s also easy. Just send in the card that came with your car seat or fill out a simple form on your manufacturer’s website. 

Traveling without your car seat?

Hertz offers easy-to-rent options for your on-the-go lifestyle. As a AAA Member, you’ll enjoy exclusive benefits with Hertz, including free use of one child seat for your car rental, saving you $13.99 per day.

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