Regular care & maintenance of your child’s car seat is vital to how the restraint will perform, ensuring the health & safety for your child, when using their car restraint.
1. Check the harness straps for fraying or webbing.
If you notice any fraying or webbing on the child’s harness we advise against the restraint being used even for short trips, until the harness or the child restraint has been replaced.
Fraying weakens the harness and top tether straps. This reduces the performance effectiveness of car seat. The child could be seriously hurt or worse, if your vehicle were to be in a collision.
2. Check that the buckle has an audible ‘CLICK!!’ that it is not sluggish or sticking when you click it back together.
Maintaining the buckle is extremely important. If the buckle has and cracks DO NOT USE and have it replaced, immediately!
3. Ensure that the Harness Adjuster Button is locking the harness in place and clamps off.
Ensuring the harness adjuster is locking off means that the harness can not slip and become loose. A faulty harness adjuster can lead to severe injury and death. The child restraint will fail and the child could be propelled from the vehicle.
If you notice the adjuster are sticky or loose DO NOT continue using, contact the manufacturer immediately who will organise a replacement and work order for repair or FULL replacement of the child restraint dependent of your warranty and date of purchase.
4. Check there are no cracks in the molding of the car seat or broken parts that may stop the restraint from working correctly.
Child restraints that have been involved in a vehicle crash may not always show visible signs of wear and tear. The fracture marks can be as finer than a strand of hair that’s why they are called hairline fractures.
Child restraints are exposed to extreme elements and conditions, especially in the Australian climate where temperatures can vary from minus -5’c to 60-80’c inside the vehicle, dependent on what part of Australia you reside in. Over time these variations cause the child restraint to deteriorate.
Remember if your child’s car seat has been involved in a vehicle accident, the damage may not be visible.
It is strongly advised that you discontinue using and destroy child restraints that:
1. More than 10 years old
2. Damaged, frayed straps or cracks in the body of the seat.
3. Been in a vehicle crash
4. Has parts missing
5. Exposed to mould from storage
Make sure that they are NOT able to be used by anybody else.
Unsafe child car seats should be destroyed in such a way that they are not able to be used by others.
To safely dispose of old or unsafe seats:
- Cut the straps and remove the harness. Dispose separately
- Remove all padded covering from the shell. Dispose separately
- Clearly, visibly and safely destroy the shell of the restraint. Separately
- Child Restraints that have been in a vehicle accident MUST NOT BE USED, SOLD, LOANED.
**Disclaimer: We are not to be held responsible for any of your actions or the actions of anyone while destroying the child restraint**WARNING!! Hammers axes etc can bounce back when used against a child restraint please use extreme caution when using tools or cutting equipment of any sort**
5. Check the Top Tether for any signs of wear and tear.
Tethers that are twisted and pulled through the harness adjuster over time cause fraying. The top tether plays an integral part into how the seat will perform in a collision. If the top tether has fraying then it will fail causing the restraint to be thrown violently, causing severe injury and death of the child.
If you find any signs of wear & tear please discontinue use of the restraint until repaired. You can contact the manufacturer who can provide you with new parts, if appropriate.
6. Maintain the cleanliness of the cover & harness.
Did you know that a child’s car seat carries more bacteria than a toilet seat?
Maintaining the cleanliness of your child’s car seat can be difficult they are after all kids. Food spills, vomit, picked noses, wet nappies & nappy explosions.. OMG!! Mum of 4, I know all about that very well 🙂
When washing your child’s car restraint please, please read the owners manual supplied with the restraint. Cleaning instructions can also be found on the care label attached to the cover. If you cannot find your child restraint Owners manual please contact the manufacture of your child restraint for advice on how to clean the restraint cover correctly