View Full Version : I need carseat help for 2yo!!

12-29-2005, 04:42 PM
Hi all!
I need to replace my car seats - I was rear ended last week and thankfully the kids were not in the car. My 2yo son had been using a 4 year old RA and still fits in it great. My 4yo has been using an Eddie Bauer high back booster with the harness. I will probably replace hers with something comparable - but don't know what to do about my son's car seat.
He is not a big kid - almost 30 lb and average height (at his 2 year checkup in October). What should I move him up to? I can use the convertible that we have for my husband's car until he is big enough for the next step - but what is recommended? I have a Toyota minivan and the kids each have their own captain's chair so size of seat is not an issue.
Am I right to get rid of the old seats? The accident was not bad - just minor bumper damage - but her car's front hood was buckled. My husband seems to think that the seats are fine to use - I tend to disagree.


12-29-2005, 06:49 PM
Somewhere there is a checklist. I want to say on the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission's site.

I know 2 of the criteria to be able to reuse are:
Were the seats occupied
Were you able to drive away

If the answer is no to both you can reuse...but there are more criteria to look at too. Hopefully that will get you started.


12-29-2005, 07:39 PM
I'm copying and pasting exactly from the NHTSA's website.

Child Restraint Re-use After Minor Crashes

NHTSA Position
NHTSA recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.

NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.

Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:

The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;

The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;

There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;

The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND

There is no visible damage to the safety seat

Clarifying the need for child seat replacement will reduce the number of children unnecessarily riding without a child safety seat while a replacement seat is being acquired, and the number of children who will have to ride without a child seat if a seat were discarded and not replaced. The clarification will also reduce the financial burden of unnecessary replacement.

Recent studies demonstrate that child safety seats can withstand minor crash impacts without any documented degradation in subsequent performance.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia ( ICBC ) subjected nine new and used child seats restraining 3-year-old dummies to a series of 50 consecutive 15 km/h sled tests into a 40% offset barrier. Three seats were inspected visually; no damage was apparent as a result of the impacts. Three seats underwent x-ray inspection; no damage was detected. Three seats were tested in accordance with Canadian federal standards (CMVSS 213) and were found to be in compliance with all standards.

ICBC performed four vehicle crash tests at 48 and 64 km/h, with two child seats restraining 3-year-old dummies in each vehicle. Each seat was subjected to multiple impacts and visually inspected. Defects were noted and the seats were re-tested. Seats always performed as well in subsequent tests as they did in the first test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performed 30 mph vehicle crash tests with dummies from six months to three years in a variety of child restraint systems (CRSs). Most seats sustained minor damage (e.g., frayed webbing, small cracks in the hard plastic shell, strain-whitening on the plastic shell or chest clip) but all dummies remained well secured by the restraints. Four of the damaged seats were subjected to three additional 30 mph crash tests. Although additional minor damage was observed in subsequent tests, the seats met all federal standards.

The agency searched for, but was unable to find any cases in which a child safety seats were damaged in a minor crash (as defined in NHTSA Position).

The agency is committed to maintaining policies that are science-based and data-driven. Stakeholders with data that address post crash re-use of child safety seats are encouraged to provide this information to the agency.

****I'm adding if you are unsure, talk to your insurance agency and tell them that the seats were in the car and unoccupied at the time of the accident. They might replace them for you.


12-29-2005, 09:41 PM
Thanks Susan!
That really helps. I feel better about using the car seats. The car was not damaged beyond the bumper - which was scratched and my husband and fil were able to 'snap' back on. And the car seats were empty but I had some 'whiplash' - but no major injuries. In the meantime I am talking with the other insurance company about replacing the seats - they wanted to give me the depreciated value and I think that if I need to replace the seats they should give me the replacement cost - it wasn't my choice for their client to slam into me with no apparent reason! We'll see what happens - I can't get too greedy ;-) At least I am getting something for my back pain and bumper.
Thanks for the research!

12-30-2005, 08:34 AM
Tell them you can't buy carseats that have depreciated--as it's not safe....Would they be willing to put it in writing for you to use old carseats that if something ever happened they would cover the incident as well as any life long care that may or may not be needed? Most insurance companies wouldn't want that kind of responsibility.

Also it can vary state to state what they have to cover. You may want to post over on the baby car seat boards or on www.car-seat.org to see if they can help you more. I think in CA the ins companies HAVE to get you a new seat, but I won't swear to that.


12-30-2005, 10:56 AM
Any recommendations on a new car seat for the 2yo? He is 30lb and 36in. It would be the seat we use most of the time.

Aunt to sweet baby boy
12-30-2005, 12:11 PM
You could get him a MA/DC/BV which would last him a long time based on his size. You could go with the Regent but that is a very big seat for a little kid. A good option might be to go with the Recaro 5 pt booster, sry i dont remember its name. It is a harness to 40 lbs and when he reaches that, could be a year could be two, you could give your dd the booster and get him another seat to harness longer if that is what you want to do then.

Just a idea


12-30-2005, 12:33 PM
I would go for a MA/DC/BV by Britax as well. He is still small enough to be rear facing and it could be a bit before he gains those last 3 pounds. Then he could FF until 65 pounds or until his shoulders are above the top slots.


12-30-2005, 05:27 PM
Alex, this doesn't have so much to do with your carseats as with your car. If you haven't done it already you might want to have a body shop check out your car anyway (I'm sure insurance would cover it). Once the bumper has been hit (if it's the 5mph kind most cars have) it might have damage inside that isn't readily apparent and might not hold up under another accident, should one occur. Just thought I would mention it! hth.

12-30-2005, 05:59 PM
Thanks! We do have the quote and check from the insurance company and plan on taking it to the body shop. Thanks for the advice.