A friend recently posted a question on Facebook asking which car seat she should buy for her baby she is expecting in a couple months. Being a lawyer, and especially being a lawyer that handles car accidents and products liability suits, I thought I should give my opinion based on my experience with litigation.
Having the correct car seat can protect your child in the event that there is a car accident. Baby car seats are designed to protect your child in the event of a car crash but are all too often designed imperfectly, which can create serious dangers. More than 500 infant injuries have occurred due to recalled car seats. Moreover, more than 10 million car seats have been recalled in the last 10 years due to weak construction, unexpected rotation and other design problems. This blog post is written to help choose which car seats are safe for your child.
I should probably write a disclaimer stating that I in no way have any affiliations with the recommended car seats below. I receive no compensation from the companies below and I am strictly basing my opinions off of current and prior lawsuits, litigation forums, and product liability groups I subscribe to.
We like this car seat because it has energy-absorbing foam. In the event of a car accident, the energy-absorbing foam is used to absorb some of the shock from the crash forces, keeping your child from absorbing all the impact from the crash. Additionally, the side impact protection protects your child’s body in the event of a crash. The seat may be more cumbersome than some, but it clearly is designed to keep your child safe.
The design of this car seat is great for premature babies and infants, but also has the flexibility for bigger babies as well. In crash test videos, it is apparent that the deeper v does a good job of cradling the baby inside the car seat during the rebound from the car crash. Again, this car seat is heavier but it is built to protect your baby.
If I were buying a car seat today, this would be the one. It is the most expensive on the list but it has also done the best on crash tests. The Anton 2 has superior side impact safety ratings due to its linear side impact protection. Further, it has energy absorbing foam and a flexible shell to protect your loved one.
Based on current and prior litigation, these are a few car seats that we do not give our stamp of approval. Also, we recommend always getting a new car seat and not using a hand-me-down. We understand that everyone wants to save money, but a child’s car seat is not an area where we believe you should try and cut costs.
The SnugRide’s were once seen as the best car seats on the market. They were some of the more expensive car seats on the market, as well, at $219. However, this car seat does not do well over time. The car seats with buckles got progressively stickier over time and became impossible to open in an emergency. Graco, the creator of the seat has been on the hot seat and likely will be forced to recall 1.9 million infant car seats in the upcoming months.
While not every model, you will want to make sure that your specific model isn’t on the recall list. Some of the models make it difficult to remove your child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an emergency.
Evenflo received close to 700 reports that the handle on the seat unexpectedly releases, which has resulted in 160 injuries to children annually. These injuries varied from skull fractures to concussions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall in May of 2007. This recall stresses the importance of not only staying abreast of current litigation and recalls, but buying new car seats as opposed to older models.
When you buy your car seat it is important that you register the car seat with the manufacturer. In the event of a recall, the manufacturer will contact you in order to safely remedy the situation by either getting a refund or getting the car seat fixed. To register your child restraint you will need to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Mailing Address
- Manufacturers Name
- Date of Manufacture (Label says “Manufactured in”)
- Model Number
- Model Name
The manufacture is required by law to include the model number and date of manufacture on each car seat they produce.
Do you have any other tips in selecting a car seat? Share below!
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.