UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: When does a car seat need to be replaced?

Keywords: seat belt, car seats (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/15/2020 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 7/10/2020)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.

A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:

-The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
-The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
-None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
-If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash
-There is no visible damage to the car seat.

NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.

References

Car Seat Use After a Crash.  https://www.nhtsa.gov/car-seats-and-booster-seats/car-seat-use-after-crash.  Accessed on 1/26/2020.