Do I need to replace my child’s car seat after a crash?

Being in a car accident is scary, and there can be a lot to deal with in the aftermath: insurance, car repairs, potential injuries, maybe even buying a new car. If the car accident was small and caused minor damage, you might not see any visible damage to the inside of your car, but that doesn’t mean your child’s car seat is still ok to use. Here’s what you need to know about replacing your child’s car seat after your car has been in an accident.

How do I know if it’s enough damage to replace the car seat?

A car accident can cause a lot of damage, or it can cause very little damage to the car. So how do you determine if it’s enough to replace your child’s car seat? If you’re repairing or replacing sheet metal, bumpers, airbags or other safety equipment in your car then it’s big enough to have caused damage to the car seat.

There wasn’t much damage to my car, and the car seat wasn’t affected

Car seats are meant to protect children during a crash. Once it has had that impact, then it might not be as reliable or safe going forward. While you’re planning to repair the damage to the outside of your car, it’s important to think about replacing your child’s car seat at the same time, so you have that reassurance the next time you’re on the road.

What if my child wasn’t in the car when it happened?

That doesn’t matter. Even if the car or booster seat was unoccupied during the accident, there could still be damage to the unit itself. After a crash, it’s best to replace the car seat with a brand new one.

I still have more questions

Of course – children’s safety is paramount, especially when you’re on the road, and you don’t know what might happen. The manufacturers of children’s car seats are available to answer all the questions you might have about them. From installation to expiration dates, they are there to help.

Does my insurance help to cover the cost?

Most insurance companies will help to cover the cost of replacing the car seat along with the repairs to your car. This can be very helpful especially if you have more than one child using a car seat or booster when the crash happened. Your insurance policy will give you the specific details of what’s covered and how to go about making a claim, but most policies provide some coverage for this.

No matter how big or small the accident is, the safety of your children is critical, so it’s essential you make sure their safety devices are going to protect them when they need it the most. Transport Canada provides lots of information about safety requirements and when the units should be replaced. They can be contacted for further information, and with any questions, you might have.