As a parent reading this magazine, you’re looking for ideas to keep your child happy and safe. By now you’ve heard about the proper way to install a car seat and how to entertain your child while he or she is sitting in it. But do you really know what else is in that seat? It’s time to get serious about cleaning and disinfecting. In this article, you will learn three important reasons to keep your child’s car seat clean and disinfected and how to tell when it needs cleaning.
HEALTH – Your child’s car seat plays host to such germs as staph, MRSA, e.coli, salmonella, cold and flu virus, norovirus and, yes, coronavirus. In addition, other harmful microbes like mold, pollen and mites can invade your child’s car seat causing various allergic reactions.
Consider all the excursions your child goes on in a week or even a day. From home to school where they play and crawl on the floor and share germs with their friends. From school to the grocery store where they come into contact with the variety of germs offered there. From the store to the park where they touch more germed surfaces. After all that, where do they deposit the many microbes they picked up along the way? First, their car seat. After that, your home. With your child’s car seat being the haven where germs like to thrive and eventually hitch a free ride into your home, doesn’t it make sense then to break up that mode of transmission and keep your child’s car seat disinfected and as clean as possible?
HAZARD – Outside of germs, there is another hidden danger lurking inside your child’s car seat: food. From gummies to chocolate chips to granola bars, your child’s car seat needs to be free and clear of these items because sticky substances can interfere with the very components meant to keep your child safe. Those fruit snacks can get lodged into the buckle mechanism and, if that buckle is not latched properly, can fail when relied upon.
I’ve cleaned hundreds of different child car seats for many families, including my own. I estimate that over 10% of those car seats have had items lodged inside the buckle that could create a safety hazard.
Happy – Aside from the benefits of reduced risk of infection and obvious safety concerns, one important reason to have your child’s car seat clean is that it makes them happy. Just like the happiness you feel when you walk into a clean bedroom with the bed made, floor vacuumed, clothes folded and put away, nightstand organized and the dresser dusted … your child feels a similar way upon climbing or being placed into a clean car seat. They say “kids notice everything.” Well, they notice when Mom and Dad take the time to have their car seat cleaned too.
How to notice when your child’s car seat needs cleaning
Before your child gets into their car seat be sure to take a look at its condition. It may sound simple, but when your child gets to be of age when they can place themselves into their own car seat you may not peek back there as often as you used to.
Before they climb in, just take a quick look and check for crumbs, gummies and other debris that can either interfere with the safety of the seat or contribute as a food source for dangerous germs. For instance, if you see crumbs along the creases, it’s probably time for a cleaning. If you see acidic milk deposits on the strap that can degrade the tensile strength of the strap, it’s probably time for a cleaning. If you notice dried fruit–like raisins–lodged in the strap adjustment button/lever, it’s probably time for a cleaning.
Keep in mind that what you see on the surface is really just the tip of the iceberg. If you see a bunch of stains, crumbs and whatever else in your child’s car seat, chances are there are plenty of other things you don’t see waiting to be discovered when the seat finally gets a deep cleaning.
By Lyndon Conaway, Germz Be Gone
When looking to have your child’s car seat professionally cleaned, look no further than Germz Be Gone. They are a mobile service that comes to your home and details your child’s gear without toxic chemicals. Nontoxic convenience at its finest.
*This article is not a paid or sponsored contribution