Car Seat Safety FAQs
If your seat has been involved in a collision–even just a “fender-bender”–it’s best to get it examined by a certified car seat technician. Click here for a current list of technicians in Cowlitz County. There are many ways that a seat can be deemed unsafe to use.
Unfortunately, car seats cannot be recycled like regular plastics can. Therefore, they must be disposed of by way of regular garbage. To ensure that someone doesn’t get a hold of a seat that shouldn’t be used again, follow these steps:
- Cut all straps with a knife so that they cannot, in any way, be buckled together. We recommend cutting each of the 5 points of the harness.
- Remove all padding from the seat as much as possible.
- If possible, place the strap and cushion pieces in a separate garbage bag from the seat itself.
- Clearly mark on the plastic portion of the seat, in a couple different spots if possible, “TRASH–DESTROY–DO NOT USE”. This will let garbage collection know that the seat was meant to be thrown away.
If you are the original owner of the car seat, still have all the materials (straps, cushions, owner’s manual, etc.), and the seat has not expired–there will be a destroy date on the seat (generally, 5 years after the manufacture date)–please contact SAFE KIDS Lower Columbia to coordinate dropping off that seat for another family to use. If you are NOT the original owner, please do not give the seat to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or sell it at a garage sale. You don’t know the history of the seat, and it may be unsafe for someone else to use. Likewise, you should not purchase seats from second-hand stores or garage sales. If you cannot afford a new seat and need one, we can help. Just contact us for more information!