Inspecting the seat after checked luggage

U

Unregistered

Guest
So we have been installing our car seat on flights more recently (Britax Boulevard) however it has been checked in as luggage the past.

I would like to do a thorough inspection for any damage and am wondering if there is a guide for this or if anyone knows of an inspector in Winnipeg? (You can go to a fire station to check the install but I don't know if they also check the seat for damage).

I am very aware of the controversy that some will tell me it is automatically trash vs inspection prior to re-use so please don't automatically tell me to trash it. I would like guidance on how to either inspect it myself or get it inspected.
 

CTPDMom

Ambassador - CPS Technician
Hi, and welcome to car-seat.org!

It seems you're in Canada? So it is possible the answer is different in your country.

In the US, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) are NOT trained to determine if a seat has been damaged. And I'm not sure it would be possible to train anyone in that, given that damage can be invisible to the naked eye, or in a place that cannot be accessed.

Because of that, I'm afraid I cannot give you guidance on how to inspect or where to get it inspected (at least in the US) because there simply are not any guidelines in place for that.

Calling the manufacturer is always a possibility, they might be able to give you more guidance/reassurance.
 

tiggercat

New member
Hi, and welcome to car-seat.org!

It seems you're in Canada? So it is possible the answer is different in your country.

In the US, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) are NOT trained to determine if a seat has been damaged. And I'm not sure it would be possible to train anyone in that, given that damage can be invisible to the naked eye, or in a place that cannot be accessed.

Because of that, I'm afraid I cannot give you guidance on how to inspect or where to get it inspected (at least in the US) because there simply are not any guidelines in place for that.

Calling the manufacturer is always a possibility, they might be able to give you more guidance/reassurance.
Your advice applies equally in Canada.

If the OP came to a clinic, we would advise him that there is no way to be certain whether or not the seat has been compromised, and recommend replacement of the restraint.

Sent from my iPod touch using Car-Seat.Org
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Car seat manufacturers generally do not consider a seat automatically "crashed" just because it's been checked on an airline.

However, it is true that nobody is trained or certified to do inspections of child safety seats to look for damage.

If I were trying to determine whether a seat had been damaged or not, I would take the cover off and look the whole thing over for signs of stress, dents, broken pieces, or that sort of thing.

However, there can be hidden damage which you would need an x-ray to locate, and there really isn't anyplace a normal person can go to get their seat x-rayed and examined by an expert. These kinds of services are exclusive to crash-test facilities for research purposes.

I am not going to tell you that the seat is unsafe or that you have to trash it, because that goes way beyond what a car seat manufacturer would advise and I don't feel it is my place as a CPS technician to tell parents they need to go above and beyond the instructions of the manufacturer in order to keep their kids safe. I am not questioning the parents who make the choice to play it extra-extra safe and replace a seat that's been checked as luggage, either. I'm just saying the choice is yours and nobody else's.
 

Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
Yes, to add (or reiterate) to what Brigala said: as CPSTs, we could only tell you if there *is* visible damage. We could not tell you if there is *not* invisible damage. What you can do to check for visible damage is to strip the seat down (cover off) and look for dents, whitening (stress marks) in the plastic, any sort of damage to the harness, any sort of cracks in the plastic. If those don't exist, there is no one who can tell you anything beyond that.

I hope that helps!
 

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