If you were recently involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is likely that your car was damaged in some way. While it is common to have your vehicle repaired in a timely manner, you may be overlooking another very important detail: the condition of any child restraint that was in the vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that a child safety seat be replaced in the event of a moderate or severe accident. In the event of a minor crash, however, the NHTSA does not necessarily recommend that the seat be replaced with a new one.

This leads to a very important question: what is considered a minor accident? The NHTSA defines this as a crash that meets several criteria:

– The vehicle was in good enough condition to be driven away from the site of the accident.

– The door closest the seat was not damaged.

– No injuries were suffered by the occupants of the vehicle.

– The air bags did not deploy.

– The safety seat is not showing any signs of damage.

If for any reason you believe a child safety seat has been damaged in a motor vehicle accident, it is best to immediately replace it. This is better than taking a risk, as a damaged seat may not perform as intended.

A motor vehicle accident can damage the vehicle itself, as well as anything on the inside, including a child safety seat. If this happens, it is important to replace the damaged child restraint with one that is in good working condition.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Child Restraint Re-use After Minor Crashes,” accessed July 09, 2015