When do car seats expire? Do they have a use-by date? We’ll take you through the details so that you can keep your little passenger safe.
Mamahood is filled with questions you may never have thought you’d have to ask.
And when do car seats expire?
(Psst. That’s why Peanut’s there — you don’t have to walk this road alone.)
As to the longevity of your baby’s sweet seat, we’ll take you through the details.
Here’s how to ensure your little one is safe while you head out on awesome adventures.
In this article: 📝
- How long are car seats good for?
- How do I know if my car seat is expired?
- Why do car seats expire?
- Do car seat bases expire?
- Is it okay to use an expired car seat?
- Using a car seat safely.
How long are car seats good for?
Getting rid of a perfectly good-looking car seat can feel unnecessary.
But unfortunately, the reality is that car seats don’t last forever.
Depending on the make and model, car seats usually expire about six years after the date of manufacture.
That doesn’t mean hand-me-down car seats are out of the question.
Just ensure they haven’t been in an accident, haven’t passed their expiry date, and aren’t damaged in any way.
How do I know if my car seat is expired?
You can find your car seat expiration date on a sticker that’s usually placed on the bottom or side of the seat.
Along with this date, the sticker might show the date of manufacture, a serial number, and the make and model details.
If you can’t find the info you need, contact the manufacturer for the details of your specific seat.
Why do car seats expire?
There are a few different reasons why car seats expire.
The first is that they’re an item that tends to get a lot of use.
And yep, they can take a bit of a beating.
Car seats are usually made of a tough plastic called polypropylene.
It’s super durable, making it an ideal material for the job.
But wear and tear and exposure to sunlight can wear it down.
Food and drink spills and cleaning products can also stop the buckles and adjusters from working properly.
Another thing is that safety regulations may change over the years, and older car seats may not meet new requirements.
And after the expiry date has passed, the manufacturer is no longer looking at the seat’s safety to see if it complies.
Do car seat bases expire?
A car seat base holds your baby’s car seat in place.
If installed correctly, it won’t move more than an inch away from its position, keeping your little one where they should be.
While you’ll take your car seat in and out of your car, the base usually stays in a fixed position.
They are either sold with the seat itself or separately.
And like the seats they keep in place, car seat bases can expire.
They are also usually made of durable plastic that may wear out over time.
If your base looks worn out or has passed its expiry date, it’s a good idea to get a replacement.
Is it okay to use an expired car seat?
Car seats that have reached their expiration dates should be thrown out.
To keep everyone safe, it’s not a good idea to hand them to friends and family or donate them to charity.
Instead, destroy them or write “EXPIRED” in big lettering.
Cutting the harness can also prevent other people from using it in the future.
Using a car seat safely.
Car seats work.
According to the National Institutes of Health, restraining children in cars cuts down on fatal injuries by 70 to 80 percent.
And using them the right way — by placing them in the rear rather than front seats — reduces the risk of fatalities for children by up to three-quarters.
Rear-facing car seats are the best for young children to use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants and toddlers use a rear-facing seat until they get bigger than the manufacturer’s recommendation for that particular seat.
And yes, paying attention to the car seat expiration date is an important part of keeping your little one safe.
Here’s to many happy adventures with your baby on board.
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