Reusing child-safety seats after a minor accident

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently revised its advice to parents and caregivers, and now allows the reuse of child-safety seats after a minor crash if all of the following conditions apply:
  • Visual inspection of the child-safety seat, including inspection under any easily movable seat padding, does not reveal any cracks or deformation that might have been caused by the crash.
  • The vehicle in which the child-safety seat was installed could be driven from the scene of the crash.
  • The vehicle door nearest the child-safety seat was undamaged.
  • None of the vehicle’s occupants was injured.
  • Air bags (if any) did not deploy.
Your facility’s written policies should require a certified child-safety seat inspector to inspect any seat involved in a minor accident. Your fire or police department should have a certified inspector on staff. Also, familiarize yourself with seat manufacturer’s information regarding performance, operation, and installation of their product.

Never make exceptions. It can be a costly error. For more information on child safety seats, visit these web sites:
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission:
  • The National Safe Kids Campaign:
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.