Why Do Infant Car Seats Expire
While you might be tempted to buy a cheap second-hand car seat from a friend that seems to be in good condition, there are very valid reasons for car seats to have an expiration date. And it isnt for car seat manufacturers to sell more seats.
Car seats expire for two main reasons: materials wearing down and the evolution of technology and safety regulations.
What Type Of Materials Are Chicco Car Seats Made Of
Made of steel and ultra-durable polymers, these materials feature inherent strength properties that are proven to withstand the rigorous energy management necessary during crash testing and not just any crash test. Chicco car seats are tested not only to meet US federal standards, but to exceed them.
In addition to seat durability, Chicco uses premium fabrics and innovation to extend car seat longevity through comfort and cleanliness. Strategically placed fabric is soft where your baby touches and durable where growing feet may land. The Fit4® 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is the only all-in-one car seat with FitKit: an innovative layered construction thats designed to last through normal wear and tear over its 10-year lifespan. Convenient zip products, like the NextFit® Max Zip Air Convertible Car Seat, feature a zip-off, machine washable seat pad to easily keep the fabrics looking and feeling like new.
Chicco also offers a variety of car seat replacement parts to help reduce signs of normal wear and tear and increase longevity. From new car seat covers to 5-point harnesses, these replacement parts can help refresh the seat for use by a younger sibling or replace an essential piece, such as a missing infant insert.
Car Seats Must Be Safety Tested And Certified
All car seats must show an ECE approval sticker to show that the seat has been tested and complies with the basic safety legal requirements. The sticker will also show you what Group the seat is tested for and the maximum weight it can be used up to.
There are currently only three legal regulations that can be used on the road today in Europe. Its worth noting that the R44.03 was introduced in 1995 and is over two decades old.
The R129 law came into force in 2015 and has been designed to make it safer for children when travelling in a car by using new smarter crash test dummies, promoting ISOFIX and by making little ones sit rear-facing for longer.
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The Importance Of A Safe Car Seat
We get it, kids can get pretty expensive. Talking about buying a new car seat can certainly give any budgeter a bout of panic. As tough as it may be to look at the price tags on car seats, this expense is a necessary one.
In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in children . The proper use of car seats has shown that car crash injury risk is reduced by 71 to 82 percent for the youngest among us.
Be sure to adhere to any height and weight guidelines to ensure your child will be properly protected in the event of a crash. In rear-facing car seats, when the top of your childs head is less than one inch below the top of the headrest its usually time to upgrade. In forward-facing car seats, youll want to watch for when the top of their ears are reaching the top of the headrest. Always check your manual.
Car Seat Expiration Dates
Below are several tables including expiration date guidelines from five top car seat manufacturers, including Graco, Britax, Chicco, Evenflo, and Safety 1st. Expiration date indications and user guide links are listed for each brands infant car seats, convertible seats, and boosters. Remember, be sure to check out our annual reviews of the best infant car seats, the best convertible car seats, best booster car seats, and over 75 baby product review categories! These are current for 2020, and we will continue to update them as new models emerge and expiration ranges change.
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Dont Buy Second Hand Car Seats
Safety experts recommend that you avoid secondhand car seats altogether. You can never be totally sure that it hasnt been involved in an accident, even when buying from family or friends.
Its not that youd be intentionally misled, just that some bumps and crunches can be forgotten easily enough, but still affect the car seat.
Why Does The Car Seat Expiration Date Matter
Think of it this way: would you feel comfortable feeding your kids expired formula or meat? Or giving them expired medicine when they’re under the weather? While it may seem like a good idea to save a few hundred bucks and put your toddler in the same car seat their older sibling used, consider if you’d feed them food or give them medicine that you still had in the cabinets from when your older kids were that age.
Car seats most effective when used properly, and when all recommendations are followed. That goes for installation, strap placement, and height and weight recommendations. We follow all of those so strictly, so we should be following the car seat expiration date recommendations, as well. If you’ve ever left a piece of plastic furniture or toy out in the sun for months and months, then you probably understand how even plastic can breakdown over time. Same goes for car seats! It absolutely isn’t worth saving a couple hundred dollars to use an old, expired car seat that may not protect your child in a serious accident.
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Graco Expiration Dates & Where To Find Expiration Date On Graco Car Seat
Your car seat will have a sticker with useful information including the date it was manufactured. Knowing the lifespan of your car seat is important so you know the date of expiration.
Depending on the model, Graco car seats typically last from seven to ten years. A majority of the Graco infant car seats expire seven years after the date of manufacturing. Most of the convertible car seats expire ten years after the date of manufacturing. There are exceptions to both rules so be sure to check your exact model.
If you aren’t sure about the exact lifespan of your car seat, check the table below or take a look at the manual that came with your specific car seat. Your car seat won’t be stamped with its expiration date so make sure not to remove the sticker containing the date it was manufactured and keep in mind how many years the car seat is considered good after the fact.
Here is a table that includes Graco infant car seat expiration dates and owners manuals.
An expired car seat isn’t much help to anyone so you may be wondering what the best thing to do with a car seat that’s past its expiration date. There are a few options as to what you can do with the car seat. Make sure that a new, up to date car seat is purchased if needed first. Then find a safe way to recycle or dispose of the old car seat so no one tries to pick up or use the expired car seat.
The Typical Lifespan Of Car Seats:
- Baby Trend: 6 years from manufacture date listed on the product
- Britax: 6 to 10 years models manufactured before June 2010 have 6 years
- Chicco: 6 to 8 years convertible seats typically have 8 years
- Cosco: 6 to 10 years depends on the car seat style and manufacture date
- Diono: 6 to 10 years date varies depending on the style of the car seat
- Evenflo: 6 years but Symphony, Transitions, and Evolve seats have 8 years
- Graco: 7 to 10 years with different dates depending on the car seat line
- Maxi-Cosi: 6 to 8 years varies from car seat to car seat style
- Nuna: 7 to 10 years PIPA and PIPA Lite have 7 years, RAVA and AACE have 10
- Safety 1st: 6 to 10 years varies from car seat to car seat style
- UppaBaby: 7 years from manufacture date on the product
Many states consider using an expired car seat as improper use and fine drivers for expired seats.
Michigan is one of these states where using an expired car seat can result in a traffic citation.
This may seem harsh, but in the United States, 43% of childrens deaths in accidents were due to improper restraint.
After the expiration date, manufacturers arent sure that the seat will work properly. Worn out parts and interiors put your child at risk in an accident.
No parent wants uncertain protection for his or her child, especially in the car. This is why car seat expiration should be taken very seriously. After the car seat expires, your childs life is in danger.
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When Do Car Seats Expire How Long Are Car Seats Good For
Most car seats expire six years after their manufacturing date. The exact validity period might vary a little bit by brand or model, so you should always check the expiry note on your seat and its base.
How can you check your car seat expiration date? In most cases, you will find a sticker underneath the seat with its expiry date. The same applies to the seat base. Just turn over the seat and you should find it on the back. Alternatively, some brands indicate the expiry date on the shell behind the cushion. Remove the seat cushion and check there if it isnt on the back.
If you are unable to find the expiration date of your seat, call its manufacturer and ask for help. You should never use a seat without confirming first that it is still safe for your child.
Safety 1st Car Seat Expiration Dates
Safety 1st car seats have the expiration date embossed on the seat and listed in the manual. Every single car seat made by Safety 1st has a website page explaining their car seat expiration dates. Please check out your car seat model on their expiration page. All of their car seats have a life span of 6-10 years with the newer car seats including infant, convertible, and booster lasting longer than previous models. Find the date of your car seat form Safety 1st under the seat on the label.
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Each Manufacturer Will Have A Recommended Service Life Date For Individual Products
Service life recommendations are a bit like a best before date. Theyre set by the manufacturers and vary across different car seat models.
For instance, Britax has a 6-year service life for its infant or harnessed car seats, while Joie has a best before date of 5-7 years for its harnessed seats and another 7-10 years for its older child seats.
So with its new Every Stage seat , if you added the maximum time an infant and booster seat can be used, it would last around 17 years.
The service life also depends on how you use the car seat.
If you used an all-stage car seat for one child and kept it in the car while your little one grew through all the groups as anticipated, it will last beyond the full 12 years, and you wont have to change it.
However, if you were a child minder who used the seat for carrying children below 4 years then best practice, according to Joie, would be to change the seat every 5 to 7 years as you would only ever use it in the Group 0+ or Group 1 mode.
But always check with the car seat manufacturer if in any doubt.
Wearing Down Of Materials
Car seats were not made to last forever. As with many products you purchase, the quality of the car seat degrades over time as the materials begin to wear out.
For example, after years of being in a car that endures extremes in temperature , the plastic in a car seat can become brittle. However, the breakdown may not be visible to the naked eye, so the expiration date is important.
The life span of a car seat is typically six to 10 years, but a few seats have shorter life spans.
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When Do Graco Car Seats Expire Graco Car Seat Expiration Dates & What To Do With Your Used Graco Car Seat
January 9, 2021 by Sam Webster
Like so many other things we come into contact with, car seats have an expiration date – including Graco car seats. It’s important to know that date for the safety of the children using these seats.
The expiration shouldn’t be an issue when using a new car seat for a child though. Depending on the specific seat, most car seats last six to ten years from when they’re manufactured so plenty of use can be had from a car seat.
There are a lot of questions surrounding car seat expiration: How long will a car seat last? Why do car seats expire? What do I do with an expired car seat? While these questions may seem overwhelming as you learn all about car seat safety, each one has simple answers.
A lot of people don’t know that car seats can expire so it’s reasonable to have a list questions surrounding the what the dates mean and why they exist in the first place. The expiration date is there to provide a guideline as to how long the seat can reasonably be used and still be considered safe. While there are incidents that may shorten the life of your car seat such as an accident, the date is there to ensure that a car seat is only being used during the optimal times.
What Should I Do With My Expired Car Seat
Once your car seat has reached retirement, its time to dispose of it. If youre recycling your car seat yourself, make sure it cant be used before putting it in the bin. Remove the fabric from the plastic shell, cut the straps, and detach as many parts as possible. You dont want someone to take the seat from the recycling and put another child at risk by using the expired seat. If you need a little help with disposal, check your area for local car seat recycling programs. Some stores have trade-in programs a few times a year, offering a discount on a new seat when you turn in an old one to be recycled.
If its time for you to say goodbye to your well-loved car seat, dont worry! Just like there are plenty of other fish in the sea, there are plenty of other great car seats out there. Check out ourchoosing a car seatguide to help you find the next best seat for your growing tot.
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Are Used Car Seats Okay
Say youre scrolling through Facebook Marketplace and you see someone advertising a car seat for sale. Youre actually in the market for one and theyre offering it for super cheap. You may be tempted to inquire about it, but are secondhand car seats safe to use?
Experts dont recommend it because you dont know what the seat has been through. Sometimes its impossible to tell just by looking at a car seat whether its been in a crash or whether its been cleaned or maintained properly.
Sellers may advertise the car seat as never having been in an accident or gently used, but that may not be the truth. Unless you know and genuinely trust the person youre getting the car seat from, its safest to just buy new .
Car Accidents And Car Seats
If you are in a car accident, the safest course of action is to replace the car seat or booster seat. Even if your kid wasnt in the car but the car seat was. Car accidents involve crashes and crashes reduce the integrity of the car seat. Yes, car seats are expensive but your babys safety is worth a new seat in the event of an accident. Having said that, the NHTSA only recommend replacing seats in moderate to severe accidents. They provide some criteria for determining the whether the accident was moderate to severe. They say it doesnt have to be replaced if all of the following apply:
- Your vehicle was drive-able after the crash
- Airbags did not deploy
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Question: Where Is The Expiration Date On A Cosco Car Seat
If your childs car seat has expired, then the safest outcome would be to purchase a new car seat. All car seats have stickers that indicate the date of manufacture. The sticker should either be on the back of the seat or underneath it on the bottom.
Is My Older Car Seat Safe To Use
Unless the seat has been in a crash or had a recall, it all comes down to whether the seat is expired. Car seats are safety tested for the expected lifespan of the seat once that date has passed, theres no guarantee the seat will function as originally intended. Once youve celebrated your seats last birthday, its time to thank it for its service and upgrade to a new car seat.
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Where To Find Expiration Date On Baby Trend Car Seat
The baby trend car seat is one of the most popular brands on the market for a reason they are safe, comfortable, and affordable. But where do you find the expiration date?
This article will show where to find expiration date on baby trend car seat so that you can make sure your car seat is still in good condition.