Re: Is your 1, 2 or 3 year old rear facing in the car?
We car seat zealots (LOL I am proud to be one!!) tell people to multiply their weight (or their child's weight) by how fast the car is traveling and that is approximately how much force it takes to restrain you. So a 20lb baby that is in an accident where the car is going 30 mph= 600lbs of force. We usually talk about this scenario when people insist they would be able to hold their baby if there was an accident. It really isn't possible to do so. I am glad you were all ok, was there much damage to the car? Was everyone sore the next day?
The cosco seats do rearface to 35lbs and the cosco scenara 5-point is only $40 at walmart. If you were interested in keeping your baby rearfacing a little longer, that seat would do it for you for fairly cheap.
Is there any visable stress marks on the car seat where the seat belt was? I ask because NTHSA has recommendations on when to replace a car seat after a crash..
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) position that it is not necessary to replace a child restraint after a minor crash. A minor crash is one that meets ALL of following criteria:
* The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
* The vehicle door nearest the child restraint was undamaged;
* There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
* The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
* There is no visible damage to the child restraint.
Most insurance companies will reimburse you for a new seat if yours was in a crash. If they say no, ask them to send you a letter stating your seat is safe to use. Usually that gets them to say yes because they don't want to be liable like that.
Jen, Wife to my army man, mom to 4 Kidlets
Ask me about your car seat questions, I am a child passenger safety instructor!