When a family decides to welcome children, many aspects of their lifestyle will change. That doesn’t just refer to their lifestyle at home, but also the vehicles that they own. So what’s the first and most important change that parents make to their cars? That’s right! Child car seats.
These days, installing child car seats is not a problem at all. Most makes and models already come with tethers built-in, so all you’d have to do is buy a good quality child car seat to fix on one of the car’s back seats.
But what happens if you have leather car seats? You know that putting child car seats on leather could damage the material, but you also know that the child seat has to go in regardless. So, how can you protect your leather car seat from child seat damage?
That’s what we’re going to explore in this article. First, we’ll understand what kind of damage those seats can cause to the leather in your car. Then, we’ll also see the easy ways you can protect your leather car seats.
In the end, you’ll see that even with a new child in the family, you won’t have to give up the luxuries you already enjoy, like your car’s leather upholstery.
Do Kids Car Seats Damage Leather Seats?
Let's kick things off by taking a step back and asking an important question: Do kids' car seats damage leather seats? The answer is yes.
Remember: Child car seats are installed by placing them on top of your car’s existing seats before tethering them to the car’s frame to keep the child safe at all times.
The weight of your child will press that seat down onto the leather underneath it. As the car moves, the child’s seat may also shift a little and cause scuffs, creases, scratches, and other unsightly damage to your precious leather.
So, in short, the answer is yes, kids' car seats can damage leather seats. As much as you love your kids – there’s no mistaking that – you may be shocked to learn that the same protective seats that keep them safe can cause damage to your leather seats.
Don’t worry, though. There’s no need to sacrifice the safety of one for the other because there are plenty of ways you can prevent that damage from happening!
How to Protect Leather Car Seats from Child Seats
There are many ways to protect your leather car seats from damage caused by child seats. However, many of them involve the same idea: adding an extra layer on top of the leather, such as a car seat cover or seat protector. That extra layer will absorb any damage from the child car seat.
Let’s dive a little deeper.
Shelf Liner Paper
Protecting your leather seats doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive or complicated; you can always start with the basics, like using shelf liner paper.
Many households have rolls of that kind of paper lying around. If you've got some at home, then that would be great! You can just cut out a big-enough piece and lay it under the child car seat. That should prevent scratches and other forms of damage from transferring to the leather seat beneath.
Another common household item that you could use is towels. They’re soft, they’re cheap, and you’ve certainly got extra ones in your cupboard somewhere.
Lay them flat underneath the child's car seat. That's better than rolling or folding the towel, which might pose a safety risk if you were to ever get in a car accident.
As a bonus, towels can also absorb any liquid spills caused by the child occupying the seat. Or, in a pinch, you could use that towel to wipe up your leather seats as well.
Another low-cost solution is to use a simple mat. Something made of rubber would be ideal, as that kind of material can play a double role: it can prevent damage to your leather seats while preventing the child seat from sliding.
That’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Invest in a Car Seat Protector
Of course, if you prefer something explicitly built for this kind of situation, you could always shell out some money for a proper car seat protector. You can easily find one that’s tailored for your particular car make and model, so you’ll get a perfect fit each time.
There are plenty of these on the market, so finding them is straightforward. They’re typically marketed as a way to protect car seats from animals, but they’ll do a great job to protect the leather from your child car seat’s bottom as well.
Even with the best seat protector, leather damage can accumulate over time. That’s why it’s also an excellent idea to get serious about regularly maintaining your leather seats.
You might already have a maintenance plan for your car seats that includes cleaning and conditioning. Still, if you’re going to put a car seat in there, you might want to increase that maintenance frequency.
By cleaning and conditioning the leather regularly, you’ll sort out any child seat damage while it’s not yet full-blown.
Hire a Professional
Don’t be ashamed to hire a professional to help you out, especially if it’s your first time installing a car seat in your vehicle. A professional will know how to install child car seats, and they’ll undoubtedly know how to do it without damaging leather car seats.
As a bonus, you can also use this as a sort of ‘coaching’ opportunity. Ask the professional installer if you have any questions and learn tips about placing and removing the child car seats yourself.
Is It Safe to Put a Seat Protector Under a Car Seat?
Yes, it's safe to put a seat protector under a car seat as long as it’s flat. If you’re using materials like a mat or a towel, never roll or fold it when placing under child car seats. That would give the child seat an uneven surface to rest on, which could be bad news in the case of an accident.
Keep Safe by Keeping Yourself Properly Informed!
To learn more about child car seats and other car-related matters, make it a habit to check out our blog at Carpart.com.au. It’s where you’ll find highly-informative articles and guides to help you become a better car owner.
Should you need replacement parts or car accessories, the same place provides quick access to reputable car part sellers and Aussie wreckers. Simply place a request for parts, and the quotes will start coming your way! Try it and get a quote now!
By Ray Hasbollah