If your car seat has been involved in a car accident it must not be used.
Talk to your insurer
Check with your insurer for guidance on whether they need evidence that it has been in a crash in order to pay out for a new seat. If so, do this first.
Recycle or dispose of your car seat
Then, consider recycling the car seat at a local car seat recycling depot, or dropping it off to a Child Restraint Technician who can use it as a “crashed seat” for demonstration purposes. Check out our article on recycling car seats for more information.
If these options are not suitable for you, you will need to destroy the car seat to make sure no one else inadvertently uses it. To do this, cut the harness straps and then dispose of the seat.
Why must we dispose of car seats after accidents?
Car seats that have performed in car accidents need to be disposed of because they have done their job. A car seat’s function is to protect your child. They work kind of like bike helmets. And like a bike helmet, it’s not a fashion accessory (regardless of your gorgeous car seat print). It’s something with a specific job, and once the job is done, it’s done.
If you fall off a bike and hit your head, you get a head injury. But if you are wearing a bike helmet, the helmet takes the impact instead. This has an effect on the helmet itself, which you may be able to see on close inspection. You throw the helmet out, and thank goodness for the fact you were wearing it.
Same goes for car seats. Thank goodness it was there when it was.