Car seats are an important item for every new parent to have. They keep your baby safe while driving and offer some degree of protection if you were ever caught in an accident. However, it\u2019s important to that car seats work and that they are in good condition. Otherwise, they may not be able to protect your child when something bad happens. The Malaysian government has made it mandatory for parents to install cars eats for their children. So it\u2019s become all the more important now for you to check if your car seat adheres to the safety guidelines. Here\u2019s what you need to know Dangers of A Defective Car Seat A defective car seat will not directly harm your child, but it is considered functionally useless. Other than just being a place to put your child, it will fail during dangerous road events. Even something as innocent as a hard brake may send your baby flying out of their seat. Some things that you might want to look for are the buckles, chest clips, carry handles, padding and base units. Any defect in even any of these features will endanger your baby. Defective buckles and chest clips can unlatch unexpectedly and dislodge your baby from the car seat. Poor quality padding may not provide adequate cushioning during accidents, resulting in head injuries. It\u2019s also important to make sure you follow the installation instructions carefully. Sometimes the car seat itself is fine, but the parent has installed it incorrectly. Unfortunately some brands come with poorly worded or ambiguous instructions. So you may misinterpret what you\u2019re actually supposed to do. In which case, contact the company to clarify any parts that confuse you. How To Test For Defects in Your Child\u2019s Car Seat Read The Instructions If you\u2019re lucky and the manufacturer includes at home safety tests in their instruction manual, follow those steps. This goes without saying as well, but you should be reading the user manual anyway, cover to cover. There may be important details you could miss such as how to properly buckle your child, or how to correctly latch the base unit. Do some practice runs of installing and removing the car seat unit. This will not only give you some experience, but also test the durability of the buckles and harnesses. A good car seat should be able to withstand some extended wear and tear. Call The Company If the manufacturer did not include safety tests in the user manual, call them and ask. Inquire about the best ways to do an at home test that can guarantee the efficacy and safety of the car seat. Any good brand will most certainly have an answer for you. A regular customer service representative may not have the info you\u2019re looking for. In this case ask to be redirected to their product manager if that\u2019s what it takes to get what you need. Sometimes they will send you away with reassurances and empty promises. This is usually a red flag. Jostle And Shake A manual test is almost always the reasonably first step to testing a car seat. Test the car seat by shaking or jostling it. Do it with enough force that may mimic the force of a car braking. Be careful not to be so hard that you damage it. However, a car seat should in theory be able to withstand some damage during a car accident. So if you do happen to go a little bit hard, if the buckle or breaks too easily, it\u2019s probably defective. Try A Dummy Test Get a doll that is roughly the same height and weight as your child. You can fill them up with stones or marbles to get the right weight. The trick is to simulate what it would be like to have your child actually in the car seat. Strap the doll in the car seat as you would your child and then drive around with it. Give a few hard brakes to see if the buckles and harness can withstand the force. Make sure to do this in an abandoned road or an empty car park. You don\u2019t want to simulate an actual car crash. Don\u2019t Use A Used Car Seat Unless you have experience using that particular brand and if it\u2019s barely been used (regifted perhaps), then don\u2019t use it. Sometimes your friends may mean well, but depending on the make and model, some car seats may not be suitable for you. The straps and buckles may have already went through some wear and tear. You may still be able to use it as a carrier or a cradle, but not while in the car. Keeping Your Baby Strapped In And Safe Car seats are meant to keep your child safe while you\u2019re operating a vehicle. The road can be a dangerous place and you need to give your baby the best protection possible. Sometimes parents don\u2019t have a choice. There may not be able to leave their kids alone at home or get a babysitter in time. Hence the reason car seats were invented, to help parents bring their kids along with them. As long you drive safely and slowly, and get one of those \u201cBaby On Board\u201d stickers, your child will be okay. However, don\u2019t forget to test your child\u2019s car seat every once in a while, it might just save your baby\u2019s life. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!