Do You’ve an Expired Car Seat? Here is Why It Matters
Do You’ve an Expired Car Seat? Here is Why It Matters
When you started searching for gear for the baby of yours, you most likely placed the big ticket items at the top part of your list: the stroller, the crib or perhaps bassinet, and of course – the all important automobile seat.
You check the newest automobile seat guidelines as well as recommendations, ensure your desired seat will properly fit the car of yours and the needs of yours, and make the purchase – sometimes spending upwards of $200 or perhaps $300. Ouch! (But well worthwhile to maintain your precious cargo safe.)
So it makes good sense to wonder: When baby #2 comes along, can you reuse your old automobile seat? Or in case your friend provides you with a seat their kid has outgrown, are you able to use that? The short answer is perhaps, maybe not – because automobile seats have expiration dates.
Generally, automobile seats expire between six and ten years from the date of manufacture.
They expire for a variety of reasons, including wear and tear, recalls, changing regulations, in addition to the boundaries of manufacturer testing. Let us take a better look.
Why do automobile seats expire?
There are in fact a couple of reasons automobile seats expire, and no, automobile seat manufacturers wanting to inconvenience you is not one of them.
- Wear and tear
Your automobile seat might be among the most used pieces of baby gear you own, perhaps rivaled only by the crib. With each supermarket, day care, and play date run, you are likely unbuckling and buckling your baby several times.
You will also find yourself adjusting the seat as your little one grows, cleaning up spills and messes as best you are able to, and cringing as your small teether chews on straps or perhaps bangs on cupholders.
When you reside in an area with extreme temperatures, the seat of yours may also bake in the sunshine while your automobile is parked and get small cracks in the plastic that you cannot actually see.
All of this takes a toll on the fabric and parts of an automobile seat, so it stands to reason that the seat – designed to maintain your kid safe – will not last forever. And without a doubt, you need to help make your child’s safety remains intact.
- Changing standards and laws
Transportation agencies, professional medical associations (like the American Academy of Pediatrics), and automobile seat manufacturers are constantly conducting and evaluating crash and safety tests. This’s a great thing for parents everywhere.
Additionally, technology is forever evolving. (Don’t we understand it. Why is our two-year-old laptop already outdated?!) This means that automobile seat safety stats can be enhanced with as fresh features, materials, or perhaps technologies are introduced.
Say you purchase an automobile seat which is rear facing and will keep the kid of yours up to a specific weight, however the weight guidelines change for a rear facing seat. It might not be the law that you’ve to change the seat of yours, however the manufacturer may discontinue it and stop making replacement parts – not to mention, you don’t have the best seat possible for your little one.
An expiration date may account for these changes and can make it unlikely that you will have a seat that is not up to snuff.
- Manufacturer testing has the limits of its
When a manufacturer – be it Any number, Chicco, Britax, or Graco of other automobile seat brands – tests an automobile seat, they do not assume you will remain cramming your 17-year-old in it and driving them to the senior prom of theirs. So it stands to reason that they do not test automobile seats to find out how they hold up after seventeen years of use.
Even all-in-one automobile seats – ones that transform from rear facing to forward facing to boosters – have age or weight limits, and automobile seat and booster use generally ends by age twelve (depending on child’s size). So automobile seats are not typically tested beyond aproximatelly 10 12 years of use.
In a great world, you will register your automobile seat once you purchase it so the manufacturer is able to allow you to know of any product recalls. In the real life, you are up to the eyeballs of yours in all of things newborn related – as well as sleep deprived. You might certainly be making use of a (unexpired and recent) hand-me-down automobile seat without registration card in sight.
So expiration dates ensure which even in case you miss a recall announcement, you will have a somewhat up-to-date automobile seat that’s much more prone to be devoid of problems.
A note on used automobile seats Before you buy an automobile seat from a yard sale or perhaps borrow one from a friend, check for a recall via the manufacturer’s site. Kids that are Safe also maintains a continuing list.
Note also that a second hand automobile seat could be less safe than a brand new one. A used booster or automobile seat is usually not advised unless you are able to be completely certain it has not been through an accident.
At what time do automobile seats expire?
There is no universal answer to this, but we will give it our best shot: Generally, automobile seats expire between six and ten years after the date of manufacture. Manufacturers such as Graco and Britax publish this on the sites of theirs.
But no, it does not suddenly become illegal to use an automobile seat at ten years and one day after it was made, and there will not be a warrant out for the arrest of yours. But we all know you would do anything to keep your sweet babe safe, and that is the reason it is suggested that you replace your automobile seat once it expires.
Where to find the expiration date on brands that are popular Looking for info about when your particular automobile seat expires? The ideal spot to check is the manufacturer’s site. Most brands have a website dedicated to safety info where they let you know how to choose the expiration date.
Graco shares that its products have expiration dates on the bottom or perhaps back of the seat.
Britax tells users to discover the date of manufacture – by making use of the serial number and instruction manual – after which provides expiration dates based on when different kinds of seats were made.
Chicco provides an expiration date on the base as well as the seat.
Baby Trend gives an expiration date for its automobile seats as six years post manufacture. You are able to find the manufacture date on the underside of the automobile seat or perhaps the bottom of the base.
Evenflo automobile seats have a date of manufacture (DOM) label. Most models expire six years after this date, but the Symphony line lasts for eight seasons.
Properly disposing of an expired automobile seat You do not want anybody using your expired automobile seat, so taking it to Goodwill or perhaps throwing it in the dumpster as is are not good choices.
Most manufacturers suggest cutting the straps, slicing the seat itself, and/or writing on the seat with a permanent marker (“DO NOT USE – EXPIRED”) before disposal.
Honestly, in case you also need to have a baseball bat to your automobile seat and let out some pent up aggression in a safe environment… we will not tell.
Big-Box retailers and baby stores (think Walmart and Target) often have automobile seat recycling or perhaps trade in programs, so keep an eye out or perhaps call your local store to ask about the policy of theirs.
The takeaway It is tempting to be skeptical and believe that automobile seat expiration dates exist to support a billion dollar baby gear industry wanting to obtain more cash out of you. But in fact, there are safety reasons that are important behind limiting the life of your automobile seat.
Although this does not mean you cannot take your sister’s automobile seat when your nephew outgrows it – and use baby #1’s automobile seat for baby #2 a couple years later – it does imply that there is a particular time frame within which this’s OK. Check your seat’s expiration date by looking at the label of its, typically at the bottom or even back again on the seat.
We recommend registering your automobile seat also – and carefully following installation instructions to stay away from compromising the security of the seat. All things considered, your baby is regarded as the valuable cargo the vehicle of yours will ever transport.