2 Dangerous Car Seat Mistakes and Solutions

By: Mikalee Byerman

January 14, 2019

Mother putting her baby in a car seat

Car seat mistakes can have deadly consequences: Namely, they can injure your child — or fail to keep them completely safe if you're in an accident.

A lot goes into finding the right car seat for your child. With so many factors to consider — including age and weight of the child, type and brand of a car seat, cost of the car seat, etc. — it can be easy to forget critical factors. Here are two common mistakes that certified technicians often find when speaking with parents.

Car Seat Mistake #1: Getting a used car seat without doing your homework

Why: Not only could a secondhand seat have been in an accident that compromised its safety, but car seats expire six years after their date of manufacture because they degrade over time, and technology is constantly advancing. 

Solution: If you don't know the car seat's history, don't use it. A new car seat is your best bet knowing its safety standards are up to date. However, if you are considering a used car seat for your child, make sure:

  • The car seat has not been recalled or expired or is more than six years old
  • The car seat has never been in a car crash
  • It comes with instructions and has all labels showing the manufacture date and model number
  • It has no visible damage or missing parts


Car Seat Mistake #2: Forgetting to check if your child has outgrown their car seat.

Why: Sometimes, it's easy to forget that your child is outgrowing the car seat's weight or height restrictions. If a child has outgrown the recommended car seat, it not only is canceling out the warranty, but it also puts your child at serious risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Solution: Ensure to check the tag to know the car seat's height and weight restriction as soon as you get the seat. Set up reminders in your calendar periodically to review the car seat's limitations and your child's height and weight. When you check the car seat, it's crucial to make sure the straps are positioned at or above the child's shoulders for forward-facing models and at or below for a rear-facing seat. 

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