A child’s car seat is one of the most used pieces of baby equipment in a parent’s toolkit.
It’s the first thing used to bring a new baby home from the hospital, and the only way to safely transport them on car journeys.
Car safety can never be underestimated.
It is therefore, really important to make sure that it is kept in the best possible condition.
Keeping a car seat clean
A baby or toddler car seat is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and germs.
It’ll be full of leaks and spills from bottles and nappies, as well as any dribble or milk that a little one may posset.
A baby’s car seat should have a regular clean to remove dirt, grime, and odours.
Most parts of a car seat will be removable and suitable for the washing machine. Some parts will only be able to be wiped down, but always check the labels or manual first before removing or cleaning.
Fabrics – regularly wash the fabrics and straps of the car seat. It is not advisable to tumble dry, just hang them to dry.
Supports and rests – use anti-bacterial wipes or a spray to clean the parts that cannot be removed.
Handles – if it is a portable car seat, wipe down handles and buttons with a multi-purpose spray or wipe
Base – hoover out the base, to remove crumbs from the gaps used to fasten the fabrics
Checking the safety of a car seat
Although it may be tempting to use a second hand car seat, it’s not recommended.
A used car seat may not have the instructions or vital missing parts. It might also have previously been involved in a collision or dropped, which can compromise the safety of the car seat.
That said, even a car seat used by an older sibling may need to be replaced. Manufacturers recommend that car seats more than 5 years old should not be used. Older car seats cannot provide the same level of protection as new technology.
Carry out regular checks of the car seat, and before each use of a car seat, look for:
- No damage to straps or harness sockets
- Dents or damage to the supports
- Correct locking mechanism into bases, connectors, or seat belts
For more information on car seats safety check out The Baby Products Association Car Seat Safety Booklet