Child Car Seats

Replacing a Child Seat After an Accident

A child car seat that was in a car when it was involved in a collision should be replaced, even if there is no visible damage.

It may have been weakened to such an extent that it will not provide the same level of protection in another accident.

The seat belts and seat belt attachments, especially ones that were in use at the time of the impact, should also be carefully checked to ensure that they have not been damaged. Include the replacement cost in any insurance claim.

It is very difficult to judge how severe an impact needs to be to damage a child car seat. It may not be necessary to replace the child seat if:

  • It was a very low speed impact
  • There was no, or very little, external damage to the car
  • There was no child in the child seat when the impact occurred.

Some manufacturers give advice about the circumstances in which a child car seat should be replaced.

However, if in any doubt, it is better to be safe than sorry - replace the child seat.

If your insurance company is reluctant to agree to replace the seat, this letter (PDF 37kb) may help.