Car seats are among the most important products parents use to safeguard their children, from baby’s first ride through the school years. But do you know if your child is riding in a recalled car seat? How would you find out if your child’s car seat is affected by a recall?

Last year, more than six million car seats were recalled for a safety defect, yet fewer than half received the necessary repair. This number is significantly higher than the average rate for other children’s products according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 75 percent of recalled motor vehicles are repaired at dealerships.

Safe Kids explored the causes of this recall repair gap and found that, on average, only 42 percent of families complete and return the postage-paid registration card provided with new car seats. When a recall occurs, manufacturers contact consumers directly, and, if needed, send a repair kit. Families who don’t register the car seat have to rely on seeing a news story or hearing about the recall through word of mouth or social media channels, and then they must contact the manufacturer to request the repair. Consequently, many recalled car seats go unrepaired, increasing the injury risk for children in a vehicle crash.

Fixes for recalled car seats can be as simple as replacing a free, manufacturer-provided part at home, with a small degree of effort. But families need to find out about the recall in the first place.

Take Action: What Parents Can Do

Register Your Car Seat

Option 1: Register on your car seat manufacturer’s website. You’ll need the model number and date of manufacture found on a label on your car seat.

Option 2: Fill out and mail in the registration card that came with your car seat. It already includes your car seat’s information. No postage required.

Tip: You can also register your car seat online at www.safercar.gov/parents and click on “car seats.” If your car seat information is handy, you can register in less than two minutes.

Find Out if Your Car Seat is Recalled

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to check if your car seat has been recalled. You will need the name of the manufacturer, model number and date of manufacture. A label on your car seat will likely have all this information in one place.

Act

If your car seat has been recalled, act. Contact the manufacturer to learn about the recall. They will tell you what to do until the repair is made. If you registered in advance, you will automatically receive the repair. If you didn’t register, you can request the repair from the manufacturer. Once you receive the repair, make it.

Tip: Take a photo of your car seat label and save it to your phone so you can have it for future reference.

Keep Informed

To stay informed about recalls, sign up for Safe Kids Worldwide’s product recall emails. We cover many children’s products and will keep you updated about recall notices from the major federal agencies – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).