Just like baby-proofing the house, it is absolutely necessary to get a car seat for your little one. Then install it properly to keep your baby safe, but remember, just like every other thing, car seats also have an expiration date. Safety is always the first priority for every parent when choosing a car seat for their babies. 

Many parents get second-hand car seats, and that saves a lot of money as well, but before buying, it is important to check where the seat has reached the expiration date or if the date is close. How long are car seats good for, or to be precise, how long are baby car seats good for? To know the exact date and year, check the manufactured date, expiration date as well as if the seat has been through any accident or not before buying it.

Car Seat Safety Overview

Car Seat Safety Overview

When buying a car seat, safety is the first priority. Researchers in this industry are there to out the seats through various rigorous testing and different stages of approval before they release the products in the market for buying.

Almost 46% of car seats are not installed properly, The Nations Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) showed that in a study conducted in 2020. That is a big concern and is a big risk for children and can cause some serious injuries if they get into any kind of accident. 

According to a nonprofit organization, Safe Kids Worldwide, every 33 seconds, one kid under the age of thirteen gets involved in a car accident. They reported this in a study in a study in 2017. This means the count stands to more than 2600 children getting involved in a car crash every day.

The best way to prevent this is to understand how to purchase and install the car seat properly so that any kind of accident can be avoided. There is an instruction manual with every car seat that covers all the details, but sometimes the guide could be confusing and unclear, so get it installed by an expert. It is also important to know how long are car seats good for or how long are infant car seats good for to get a better knowledge about when to replace them.

Reasons Behind Expiration Of Car Seats

Expiration Of Car Seats

Like every other object, car seats also come with an expiration date. Initially, it might seem like a scam to sell more car seats, but when we think about it, then it makes sense. The main material used for making these car seats is hard plastic and this material degrades with time. There are many factors that actually lead to the expiration. Let’s see what those are:

  • The materials deteriorate: Plastic is the main material for building these car seats. With time the plastic quality degrades. Sun, cold, humidity, heat, and age are factors that also affect plastics, and they get brittle with time and ultimately becomes unsafe for use.
  • Rust: A seat can get rust in areas that we do not even notice, and the metal parts become unsafe for use. This affects how the seat performs when involved in an accident or any kind of crash.
  • Discontinued models: Well, this happens when the manufacturing company stops producing that particular model, and when a part of that seat needs replacing, it becomes difficult to find that part, as it is no longer in production.
  • Advancements in technology: There are technical breakthroughs happening every day, and the manufacturers prefer to upgrade the product with the recommended standards and safety protocols in mind. This is why they set an expiration date for a product to get you the updated product that they have manufactured with time.
  • Missing parts: Any product that we consider gets through a lot over time when we use it continuously. Same with car seats. Over the years you wash the pads many times and switch the belts from front to back and from back to front. and in this process, we lose the small parts. This is another reason why the quality of a seat reduces.

How long are car seats good for? How long are Graco infant car seats good for? Also, how long are baby trend car seats good for? Parents, in general, ask these questions as these are some well-known brands. Depending on the car seat model, Graco car seats generally last for 10 years, and Babytrend car seats generally last for a good six-year stretch.

How To Know If A Car Seat Is Expired?

How To Know If A Car Seat Is Expired

To know if the car seat you are using for your baby has expired, you have to check the expiration date of the seat, which shows the year and month of expiration. Either they put a sticker in the plastic frame or engrave it at the bottom of the seat. It doesn’t matter what the brand is. Generally, the manufacture date and the expiration date are at the bottom of the seat.

If you are buying the parts separately and then installing them, check the boxes for expiration dates separately, even if you bought those around the same time. Check all the boxes to know the expiration date. If the metal parts are getting rust on it, and the quality of the materials is degrading, then it is time to change the seat.

How To Dispose Of An Expired Car Seat?

How To Dispose Of An Expired Car Seat

Do not keep donating on the table once the car seat has expired. There are some eco-friendly ways of disposing of the car seat. It is best to take the seat to the nearest recycling center and dispose of the seat.

Be sure that they recycle expired seats and know beforehand in what condition they are going to take them. if they ask you to strip it down, then take the excess material out before taking it to them. apart from the plastic, everything is out, including the padding, harness, buckles, straps, and fabrics.

If it is not recyclable for possible, then you have to dispose of the seat in other ways. If you are taking the seat to a landfill, it is better you take care of the seat in such a way that it does not look reusable. Remove all the straps and attachments before throwing them away.

Wrapping Up!

The safety of a child is the first priority of every parent. This is something non-negotiable. It is absolutely important to fit the car seat properly for the little baby. It is not just the duty of the parents but also the duty of the manufacturing companies as well, to make the best possible products for the babies. But it is the responsibility of the parent to check if the car seat is still good for the baby to use.

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subhasree nag
Subhasree is a content writer who is passionate about traveling, writing, and reading books. In her leisure time, she is seen listening to music and watching web series. Writing along with music and dance are ways in which she expresses herself.

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