The removal, installation, and/or operation of your car seat is solely your responsibility and Germz Be Gone and its authors accept no liability regarding such or for comments made in connection with any writings posted or otherwise.
A Clean Car Seat = A Safer Car Seat
When it comes to child safety seats, different people and different laws say different things. As a new resident of Nevada, I wanted a concrete answer from a well-trusted authority. So I went looking in the the most obvious place, the Nevada DMV. What I found at first was lacking:
“Children who are younger than 6 years old and weighs less than 60 lbs. must ride in an approved safety restraint system. Children are generally safest riding in the back seat. In fact, with vehicles containing front seat passenger air bags, infants should always ride in the back seat.”1
As you can see, there is little to go on here, leaving it to parents to dig a little further. I was at least expecting some guidance on best practices easier to find at the DMV. You have to click on “how to buy a car seat” in order to get any “real” information.
Luckily, there are a number of other sites dedicated to child safety seats and their applicable state laws. One local site I found that has some really good information is Safe Kids Clark County. They have tidbits on installation and recommendations about rear- vs. forward-facing ages and seats. A good resource to check out for sure.
When it comes to child safety, however, something typically disregarded, unmentioned or never thought of is proper cleaning of the car seat to protect the child from nasty germs and infection and how a clean car seat can help maintain better health. Frequent car seat cleaning is something responsible parents can do to help give their child(ren) the best chance of staying healthy all year long–especially during cold and flu season. Besides, many items can be found in the bowels of your child’s car seat that can keep clasps from fully attaching, buckles from buckling and gears and levers from working properly.
There’s no telling what kind of nasties are hidden in that seat: old-explosive-diaper fluids, last week’s vomit, stale cheddar bunnies, sweat, dead skin cells, a mysterious fungus, dust mites, school germs, the list goes on. As often as you change your bath towel, you should probably clean your child’s car seat. If you can spare a few hours, I’d recommend a deep detail at least once per month.
How To Clean Your Child’s Car Seat
A Note About Convenience: As a father of two school-age girls who love to play in the sand with other kids, it is necessary for me to sanitize their car seats for germs and dirt; that way, they won’t track that stuff in the house. As they grow, however, so too does their fit in their car seat. I find that when I take the car seats out to clean them, the moment is also convenient for me to adjust the car seat for proper fit. Two birds for one: a clean and sanitized seat and a better fit for a safer ride.
Here is how to clean a car seat properly. Please follow your car seat manufacturer’s’ directions and use very mild detergents to help keep safety components in working form:
- Read car seat manual’s care instructions
- Remove the car seat from the vehicle
- Remove fabric from the seat structure (remember to take note of where the straps and fasteners go).
- From here you can either toss the fabric in the wash (if it can handle it) or elect to spray and wipe with a non-toxic cleaner and microfiber cloth.
- Shake out or vacuum the base to remove crumbs and loose debris.
- Spray and wipe down base with a non-toxic cleaner and microfiber cloth.
- Spray and wipe buckles and straps and other high-touch areas with a non-abrasive, very mild and neutral cleaner.
- Use a cotton swab or toothpick to get into screw holes and other tight spaces where gummies and other sticky substances can hide.
- Allow all pieces to thoroughly dry.
- Remember how to reassemble all components.
- Re-install car seat.
The Easier Way To Clean Your Child’s Car Seat
Does that entire process sound a little time consuming and challenging? It is.
Is your child’s health worth it? It DEFINITELY is.
Fortunately for you, Germz Be Gone is here to make your car seat cleaning easier than ever before. Simply order service online, we set up in front of your home and get to work sanitizing, detailing and deodorizing your child’s car seat and other baby gear. You get your items back in minutes.
For more of what we do, visit us online at germzbegone.com.