Mothers nicely understand the expiration date on their makeup and refrigerated products but find it hard to find the answer for when do car seats expire?
If you are using them properly without rough handling, why should a car seat expire? Are there laws that state that you cannot use a particular car seat after a while?
To get started, the expiration of a car seat is another way of saying ‘upgrade your safety’. Just like those apps on iTunes and play store, you’ll have to go for a better version once the old one wears out. It is essential to keep your little one safe. Explaining further, here’s why it is a step you should not skip.
Why Do Infant Car Seats Expire?
When you are making a dish in the kitchen, you know the ingredients you are adding, and you’ll know how it will turn out to be. Also, based on what you’ve added, you can tell when the dish will start to change color or start smelling. That’s similar to a car seat scenario. It’s not the government, but the manufacturer decides when do car seats expire. Here’s why –
Why car seats have an expiration date?
Manufacturers are always looking for ways to make their products better. Depending on the roads and the pattern of accidents, they improve the quality and design of the seats. If you stick to the car seat that’s been running in the family for years, you might miss out on the latest additions.
Materials age too
When do car seats expire? When the harness or the fabric starts wearing out. Usage will degrade the performance as well as the quality of your car seat. It might not be visible to you immediately, but they might let you down in toughest situations.
Sometimes, manufacturers decide to take back the stock form the market to redesign them. It happens when they made a mistake with the products in the batch or want to add new features. You can find out about this by contacting customer care. In rare conditions, they might ask you to discontinue use and destroy the car seat for your safety.
Why car seats expire?
The expiration date is there because the car seat is capable of ‘expiry’. And why does that happen and when do car seats expire? Read this –
Accident and damage
If the car seat was involved in an accident before, it might not function the same again. Even after extended usage, the harsh handling can wear out the product. You need to know complete details about the car seat before you accept it. A used car seat might also miss a few parts, and restored; there is always a technical glitch that might cost you big time.
As I’ve said earlier, companies redesign and make their products better. An expiry date is also their way of telling that they’ll have a better product after this time and you should upgrade too.
If there are any new additions to the established norms and new safety precautions published, manufacturers change their design game. In that case, your car seat might no longer be valid, and you’ll have to change it.
When Do Infant Car Seats Expire?
On average car seats expire after six years of manufacture. But if it is made with the finest materials and with proper care, it can even extend up to 10 years. It depends on the manufacturer and his guidelines for when do car seats expire.
When Do Graco Infant Car Seats Expire?
Graco is known for its exceptional car seats. Most of them have a life of 7 to 10 years. The Snugride Snuglock series last for 7 years. The date is printed on a label and is attached to the back of the car seat. Snugride Snuglock with true shield technology and the one with 1 Hand adjust have an expiry date of 10 years after manufacturing. You can read it on the user manual.
When Do Britax Infant Car Seats Expire?
These infant car seats come with a proper base as well. All the variants of this brand tend to expire after 6 years of manufacturing. They label the information about when do car seats expire on the car seat as well as the base.
When Do Chicco Infant Car Seats Expire?
The infant car seat and toddler car seat, both of them have the same expiry date of 6 years after manufacturing. They have the information printed on a label that’s stuck to the bottom of the car seat.
When Do Evenflo Infant Car Seats Expire?
SafeMaxTM, Advanced liteMax, Embrace, and Nurture are the four models available with Evenflo, and they all come with six years of the expiry date.
When Do Safety 1st Infant Car Seats Expire?
The models – Designer22, OnBoard, Prezi had 6-year expiry date again before 2014, but they changed it to 8 years after making necessary changes. For Mico, LightNcomfy, ComfyCarry, the expiry time changed from 6 to 8 years in 2013. A similar stratergy was applied for DreamrideCarBed in 2015.
Warning Signs That Your Car Seat is No Longer Safe to Continue Using
Because of the weather conditions or being involved in an accident, your car seat might turn old before the expiry date. You have to look out for these apparent signs to stay safe.
- Start to see rust forming on the handles or iron spare parts
- Notice that the harness and straps are strangely elastic
- Parts of the car seat can break
- Notice minor cracks on the sides of your base
Do not ignore when your manufacturer recalls parts for repair or redesign. That will help you get a better version of your old car seat, and it’s crucial for safety.
What to Do With an Expired Car Seat
The question – When do car seats expire has already sailed, and it’s time to face the next issue on the list. What to do with an expired car seat?
Well, it will be unethical if you pass on an expired car seat to someone. Remove the padding so that no one can use it again. Refrain from reselling it or handing it over further down in the family tree.
Moreover, if your seat has recyclable parts, then you can give it for recycling use to help relevant organizations or websites. Do not burn them as some might have plastic in them, and that’s pretty toxic to the environment.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Even if you have to spend some money on a new car seat, do not hesitate and buy it. Now that you know when do car seats expire, you also know the detrimental consequences if you continue to use an expired one. Keep yourself and your young ones safe, dispose of the expired car seats in the right way, and you’ll be relieved and stress-free.