There is no question about it: car seats save lives. We’ve seen time and time again the protection and security they give children if they are involved in an accident. While the benefits of car seats for children are undeniable, there is another side to these devices many people may be unaware of. Car seats also have hidden risks associated with them. These potential dangers can bring harm or even be life threatening when present. Read below to learn more about the unseen dangers of car seats every parent should be aware of, and how to avoid these potential hazards.
1. Improper Installation
One of the first steps in making sure your child is safe in their car seat is installing the seat properly. If the car seat is too loose or sitting at an improper angle, it can create an increased risk of injury for the child if you are involved in an accident. According to car seat inspectors, one of the most common mistakes made is not securing the car seat tight enough in the car. The seat should not be able to move more than one inch on either side when you test it. If you are ever unsure or want an expert to double check, you can take the car seat to be properly installed at certain community events, or have a certified passenger safety technician help you.
2. Misuse Of The Harness
Of course it is extremely important to make sure the harness or seatbelt on the car seat fits your child properly, but another crucial point is to always make sure it is correctly fastened. Never loosen the harness thinking it will make your child more comfortable. This could not only put the child in danger in the event of an accident, but loose harnesses have proven to actually be a suffocation risk!
3. Dangerous Chemicals
Did you know your kid’s car seat could contain chemicals that are harmful to a child’s health? One study found nearly 73% of seats purchased and tested contained hazardous halogenated flame-retardants. The flame-retardant chemicals and alternatives used by companies are oftentimes inadequately regulated, putting consumers – namely your children – at risk.
4. Excessive Cushioning
While purchasing extra cushioning seems like a comfortable and safe option for your kid, it can actually be quite risky. In many cases, the fluffy additional products sold separately from car seats have not been subject to crash testing. The extra cushions could alter the fit of the harness, impacting the tested safety of your child’s car seat; even worse, it could be a suffocation hazard for babies.
5. Not Researching A Second-Hand Car Seat
We all know car seats can be expensive. In many cases, second-hand car seats are a great option for parents to save a little money. When buying a used car seat, it is essential to learn as much of the history behind the car seat as possible before you purchase or use it. Assess any damage, ask if the car seat was ever involved in an accident, and make sure the seat is properly cleaned and not infested with bacteria or germs.
Car Accident Help
Fortunately, most of the hidden dangers can be completely avoided with proper care and attention. Always ask for help if you aren’t sure about your child’s car seat. Stay alert about the right fit and whether or not your child is growing out of their car seat. Stay aware of car seat recalls. We hope your car seat keeps your child safe at all stages in their growth. However, if you or a loved one are victims of a faulty car seat after an accident, call the attorneys at Adame Garza LLP for help and a free case evaluation.