This 'genius' car seat hack may actually put your child more at risk

A new hack is making the rounds on the internet as a simple way to protect your kid. However, it may actually make your car seat unsafe.

We all want our kids to be safe, and parents will do everything they can to plan for their kids’ well-being in any situation.  That’s why, when a local fire department shared a simple car seat hack, parents were quick to adopt and share it.

The hack, which was originally posted on Facebook by the Rose City Area Fire Department, involves writing down your child’s medical information and emergency contact, and taping it to their car seat in case you are in an accident and are unconscious when first responders arrive. While the fire department’s post only has a meagre number of shares, one mom who saw it posted a screenshot to Twitter where it was retweeted 6,000 times and got more than 10,000 likes.

Sounds like a brilliant idea right? Two minutes spent writing out the relevant information seems like a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll have knowing paramedics would have all the info they need to take care of your child. However, there’s one problem with this plan: Tape can actually damage a car seat.

car seat on a rainbow background 7 car seat mistakes you’re probably makingNow, we know what you’re thinking: How in the world can tape make a car seat unsafe? We totally get how strange it sounds, but hear us out. According to Rebecka Mayne, a child passenger safety technician who owns and operates Safe Travels Car Seat Services in Ontario, the adhesive found on tape can affect the car seat’s plastic. “We would worry about the glue in the adhesive potentially compromising the integrity or safety of the seat,” said Mayne in response to an email about the hack. Basically, the glue could break down or weaken the plastic that makes up the base of your child’s car seat, making it less able to withstand a crash and protect your child.

That doesn’t mean you should forgo the idea of keeping your child’s info handy. For parents who still want to try this hack, Mayne encourages them to contact the manufacturer of their car seat to ask about the potential risks. “I’d never encourage a parent to modify a seat without the permission of the manufacturer,” Mayne said. Or, you might be able to use a label that comes with your car seat. Some seats come manufactured with slots made specifically for your child’s medical information, so check your own seat to see if that’s an option. As well, you can get ID tags made with all of your child’s info that can fit in your wallet next to your own ID or be attached to a diaper bag.

Some hacks on the internet can be simple and make your life so much easier, but when it comes to the safety of you and your child, it doesn’t hurt to do a little digging.

Read more:
How to make safety bracelets for kids
Why kids shouldn’t wear bulky coats in car seats

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.