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Car Seats Expire…Who knew?

p3080002 I recently learned that car seats have an expiration date.  I was very surprised to learn this and don’t think I’m the only one who was unaware about car seats expiring.

Car seats deteriorate over time due to heat and general use.  Just as a piece of plastic will become significantly weaker, the more it is handled, exposed to heat, and bent, the plastic on car seats is no different.  Manufactures of car seats now supply consumers with an expiration date to protect children from being in a car seat which is not safe.  Another reason for car seat expiration is the evolution of technology.  Car seats become safer and safer with each new product that is made.  So while your car seat may be the safest there is, in five years it may be weaker than most other car seats.

The car seat expiration date was very hard to find on my car seats.  You can check them online if you cannot find it on the carseat.  If you have a car seat that has expired, it is advised to destroy the car seat so that no one will use it.  This includes cutting the straps and even the plastic so someone won’t try to repair it.

Here is a video which demonstrates what can happen if your child is riding in a car seat which has expired:

Car seat expiration dates fall in a broader category of car seat safety.  Safe car seat practice means you have had your car seat inspected by a certified car seat inspector.  They will check the safety of your seat, whether it is appropriate for your child’s height and weight, teach you how to properly buckle them in, and make sure it is installed in your car correctly.  If you would like to learn more about car seat safety or find a car seat inspector near you, go to this website.

Did you know that car seats expired? Have you had your car seat installation checked by a car seat inspector?

3 Responses to Car Seats Expire…Who knew?

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie
    June 15, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    I knew that – spotted the expiration date on a car seat once and looked up what it was for because it seemed odd when I first heard about it. Didn’t take much reading for it to make sense, though!

    We’ve been getting new seats for our youngest, as the car seats we have were bought for my now 7 year old.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy V
    June 16, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

    I did not know that they actually had dates but being a nanny I am a huge advocate for proper installation and use of car seats. I also make it known to those lending or borrowing car seats that they really should buy new. Like you said, it is safe because they get safer all of the time AND if they are in an accident they should be replaced. Glad you were able to spread the word :) . Thanks!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy
    June 17, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    And everyone knows not to buy a used car seat, right?

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