Five Surprising Facts About Car Seats
Drive home the safety.
One of the most important purchases you’ll make as a parent is your child’s car seat. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children, and safety-seat usage has been proven to reduce the risk of death by 71 percent in infants and by 54 percent in toddlers.
Owning a car seat is not enough to keep your child safe; you must make sure they are being used correctly. Below are five facts about car seats that may surprise you.
- Car seats expire.
Over time, the wear and tear on your car seat can limit its effectiveness. Materials wear down, technology improves and standards change. Most seats expire after six years of the manufacture date, which is usually stamped on the side label or base of the seat.
- They all must pass the same standard safety test.
Prices for car seats and booster seats can range anywhere from $15 - $500. This big gap can be confusing and begs the question, are more expensive seats better? The truth is, all car seats on the market must meet the minimum safety requirements described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; however, many car seat manufacturers go above and beyond with additional safety features you may find valuable. Luckily, Alabama Farmers Federation members receive deep discounts on car seats and booster seats, which is just one of the many membership perks.
- Be cautious of used seats.
If a car seat has ever been in an accident, it’s probably no longer safe - even if there is no visible damage. Only purchase a used car seat or accept a hand-me down if you trust that it hasn’t been involved in an accident.
- Letting a baby sleep in a car seat can be deadly.
New babies don’t have enough neck control to support their heads, and the incline of a car seat can block a baby’s tiny airway, making it impossible to breathe. Consider sitting next to the baby or using a back-seat mirror so you can keep a close watch. Never leave your little one unattended in a car seat. 
- Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the child rear-facing as long as possible, at least until he or she reaches the weight and height limit of your specific car seat. The rear-facing position supports your child’s head, neck and spine by absorbing most of the crash’s force into the hard shell of the car seat, making it the safest position.
Alabama Farmers Federation members can purchase a car seat for $25 each and a booster seat for $15 each, which includes shipping and handling. To order the car seat or booster seat, visit any Alfa Insurance® office in Alabama. Seats will be delivered straight to your door. Not a Federation member? Join today!