Car seats are one of the must-get items while shopping for your baby products. They might be a bit pricey, but anything to keep your baby safe and sound. So, you dive into research, get recommendations from far and near, and you finally get the perfect car seat. However, when your next baby comes, you wonder if you can use that same car seat. After all, you searched hard for it, and it would cost more money to get a new seat. Or maybe someone offers you a car seat their child used, and you’re wondering if it’s going to be safe to use a hand-me-down car seat for your baby. So, if your question is, can you reuse infant seats, then dive in as we answer your question and all other possible questions you might have.
How Long Are Car Seats Good For?
From the exact date they are manufactured, car seats have a lifespan of around five to nine years. Hence whenever you get a car seat, be sure to go through the manual to figure out the manufactured date and expiration date.
Other places you can find a car seat’s expiration date include labels containing various car information, molded or imprinted on the car seat’s body. Also, if a car seat is involved in a major car accident, you should not use it regardless of whether or not it has exhausted the minimum of five years lifespan.
The Best Way To Know If A Car Seat Has Expired
The best way to know if a car seat has expired is by checking the date it was manufactured. After checking the date, the next step is to check out the lifespan of the car seat. Depending on the brand and model, you can find this out as it varies from time to time. There’s no need to check for when your car seat expires if the car seat manufacture dates between one to four years ago, as car seats are generally safe within that period.
Why Do Car Seats Expire?
It is normal to find a car seat expiration date written on the label attached to the car seat. Reasons for the car seat expiration dates include:
Car Seat Testing Has Limits
Manufacturers of cars do not expect you to be using the same car seat for as long as ten to twelve years. So, they do not test most car seats to see if they can hold up for more than the mentioned expiration date.
Wear And Tear Effect
The continuous usage of any equipment or hear results in the breaking down in the quality of such gear. Car seats are one of the most used items by babies, making them an important baby gear. This constant usage of most car seats results in wear and tear.
The continuous spill of food on the infant car seat, the teeth marks that your baby might leave, and tiny cracks which occur in plastic due to heat would lead to the degradation of the infant car seat. Also, extreme heat and extreme cold can affect your baby gear, rendering your infant car seats useless after some years.
Regulations And Standards
There are various regulations and safety standards that car seats manufacturers must adhere to. These regulations and safety standards are constantly changing, which results in regular conduction of safety and crash tests for car seats. For example, a change in the standard weight of a child that a particular car seat can take would require you to buy a new car seat. This is not due to the law but because you want to guarantee that your baby is completely safe.
Read also: How to Clean Car Seats?
What Should You Do With Your Expired Or Used Car Seat?
Once your car seats have expired, following are the options you have:
Some stores allow you to trade in a car seat in exchange for a gift card or some store credit. You would need to check out various stores near you to see if and when they carry out trade-in programs.
You can recycle your expired car seats rather than throw them in the trash. There might be various city recycling programs or recycling plants in your locality that may carry out car seat recycling, so you can be sure they accept expired car seats.
To ensure you don’t waste your time, call them beforehand to confirm that they accept expired car seats. Once you have confirmed that your expired car seat would be accepted, the next step is to take off the seat cover, harness, and other materials that might make it difficult for the machine to recycle.
Dispose Of It
If you cannot successfully recycle your car seat, the next option is to dispose of it. You want to ensure that no one can use the infant car seat if they happen to pull it out of the trash, as this might be unsafe.
There are no specific steps on how to render your expired car seat useless. However, your main aim is to ensure that no child can make use of it. Dismantle or smash the infant car seat in whatever way you can. Then go ahead to write “expired” on it with a permanent marker. You can also write “do not use*, ” damaged,” or whatever phrase you feel would effectively communicate that the infant car seat shouldn’t be used.
You can carry out a yard sale to sell off your booster seat. In the same way, you received the manufactured date, provide the buyer with the manufacture date. Don’t forget to point out where the model number and serial number are so that the buyer can easily confirm the expiration dates of the booster seats.
Frequently Asked Questions (Faq’s)
Do Car Seats Expire?
Yes, car seats expire. Several reasons why a car seat might expire include wear and tear effects, various standards and regulations, car seat testing limits, etc.
Are Car Seats Good For Ten Years?
We can’t say that convertible car seats are good for ten years. Some car seat expiration dates are five years from their date of manufacture. The best step would be to check out your brand of car seats and see their specified car seat expiration date.
While it is easier to believe that expired car seats are just a ploy by manufacturers’ to rip you off cash, they are not. Car seat expiration date is rather an attempt to keep your baby safe.
This doesn’t mean you can’t reuse old car seats, just ensure that the old car seat is not expired. Always handle your used car seats with care. Lastly, don’t forget to ensure that your used car seat is safety tested.