Car seats are one of the first and most important products a parent or caregiver can have to keep kids safe during travel. But how do you know if your child is riding in a recalled car seat?
In 2014, more than six million car seats were recalled. This number is significantly higher than the average rate for other children’s products, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
A recent Safe Kids Coalition study on car seat registration and recalls found that car seats go unrepaired or unreplaced even after recalls are publicly issued because the process of registering is overlooked or undervalued. “When a recall occurs, manufacturers contact consumers directly, and, if needed, send a repair kit.” The repair itself can be as simple as replacing a manufacturer-provided part at home, but it’s optimal for families to at least be alerted to the recall in the first place. “Families who don’t register the car seat have to rely on seeing a news story or hearing about the recall through word of mouth or social media channels, and then they must contact the manufacturer to request the repair.” As a result, small children could be at a greater risk for injury in the event of a crash if a car seat is affected by a recall and left unrepaired.
Fortunately, parents can register their new or existing car seats either online or through the mail to ensure they receive notice about future recalls through official channels and guided through the repair process:
Register Your Car Seat
Registering your car seat is the best way for parents to learn about a recall in the most timely and dependable manner – directly from the manufacturer. It can be done either online or by mail:
Option 1: Online
Register online with your car seat manufacturer or https://www.nhtsa.gov/parents-and-caregivers. You’ll need the model number and date of manufacture found on the label on your car seat.
Option 2: By Mail
Find Out if Your Car Seat is Recalled
If your car seat has been recalled, it’s important to act quickly so your child can ride as safely as possible in a vehicle. Contact the manufacturer to learn more about the recall. If you registered in advance, you will automatically receive the repair. If you didn’t register, you can request the repair from the manufacturer.
For more tips and useful information on car seat registration and recalls, visit the Safe Kids Coalition website here.