Registering your car seat - a small, but important task
If you are like many busy people, you probably have a drawer somewhere in your home where several “important, but I’ll get to it later” papers live. In that small, dark place are postage-paid warranty cards that come with every new product. It seems like such a small task for me to write my name and address on the card and send it back to the manufacturer, no stamp needed. I liked the product, in this case a car seat, enough to buy it, but I never completed the product registration card.
Registration cards on car seats are there for one reason only – to provide the manufacturer with direct access to the owner if the car seat is found to have a safety defect or other safety alert. That’s it – no marketing, consumer testing or annoying phone calls. The government standard requires that the consumer be contacted for all recalled car seats on the market, even if you bought it 6-10 years ago. But here is what I learned this past month about registration cards. Last year, more than 6 million car seats had a safety defect. Less than half of those car seats were fixed because 60 percent of consumers did not send in the registration card. That means more than 3 million kids are still using a car seat that needs a very simple, but important repair. I also learned that 80 percent of parents felt registering the car seat was easy and important at the beginning of the study. By the end, 97 percent were believers.
So here is my call to action. I promise to:
- Clean out my drawer and complete my car seat registration card.
- Tell all my friends who have car seats to register them today. Older seats can be registered just as easily as new ones.
- Offer my smart phone at checkup events to help people register their seats on the spot at www.safercar.gov/parents. I will help them find the make, model number and date of manufacture. This whole process takes less than 2 minutes.
So no more guessing about recalls. We all have other things to worry about. No fuss, no muss. Complete and mail the registration card – it’s a small, but important step in making sure your child is riding as safely as possible.