baby in a car seat
Photo courtesy Pieter Kuiper, Wikimedia Creative Commons


By Ariella Monti

N.C. Consumers Council

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a tool that will help parents and caregivers find the perfect car seat for their children.

Photo courtesy: NHTSA

As part of a national campaign, the agency also added the ability to look up car seat recalls on its mobile app and is reminding parents to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so that they can be immediately informed of recalls.

To find the right car seat for their child, parents or caregivers enter the child’s age, height and weight into the tool, after which it will provide a result based on the NHTSA’s best-practices recommendation.

Before purchasing a car seat, parents can use the agency’s mobile SaferCar app to search for car seat recalls. Once purchased, parents should register the car seat with the company to ensure that they are notified immediately of any future recalls.

In 2014, more than 7.4 million car seats were recalled, but according to the NHTSA only about 40 percent of people on average get their car seats fixed. Comparatively, 75 percent of car owners get their car fixed after a recall. Unlike car seat registration, vehicle registration is required by law.

baby in a car seat
Photo courtesy Pieter Kuiper, Wikimedia Creative Commons

The agency also offers local car seat inspection stations – in North Carolina these are primarily fire and EMS stations – with certified child passenger safety technicians that can inspect your child’s car seat and show you how to install it properly.

For more information about these tools, visit the NHTSA Parent Central website. The Safercar mobile app can be downloaded for Apple devices and Android devices.

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