TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The coronavirus pandemic has many of us on a disinfecting spree.
Parents are following public health recommendations, using bleach-based and other disinfectants to kill the coronavirus on surfaces around their house. But according to Consumer Reports, one surface that should not be cleaned with those same harsh chemicals is a child’s car seat.
“When it comes to car seats, each component must withstand high forces and repeated use in order to keep kids safe during a crash so you don’t want to use any cleaners or disinfectants that could compromise any of the seat’s components in any way,” says Emily Thomas with Consumer Reports.
So what should you use? Check your car seat’s manual. There you’ll find washing and drying instructions that are specific to not only your car seat model but for each of the seat’s components. Most manufacturers say it’s ok to machine wash and air dry the car seat cover, but you should never put the harness in the washing machine. Instead, follow manufacturer instructions to clean the harness by-hand. Most specify using a mild soap and water mixture. Plastic components can also be wiped down with mild soap and water as well. If you have already cleaned your car seat incorrectly, reach out to its manufacturer for replacement covers and parts.
“So with all of us stuck at home with our kids and not traveling anywhere. It really is the perfect time to clean our child’s car seat. And it’s also a great opportunity to make sure that your child’s car seat still fits them properly. So review the height and weight guidelines and make the appropriate adjustments necessary,” said Thomas.
Another item in your home you should be careful when cleaning, is your bike helmet! Don’t clean a helmet with harsh chemicals, like ammonia or bleach. They can potentially degrade the materials and make it less effective at protecting you.