Safety is a top commitment for every car owner. It is necessary to have a safe driving experience, whether it is a long-distance journey or a short distance journey. However, to conduct a safe road drive, a car owner must check on safety measurements on a regular basis.
Especially when you have installed a car seat for your infants or toddlers, there is a significant factor that some people are unaware of about car seats. Do you know it? If no! Then let me tell you, “Car seats do expire..”
In this article, we are specifically going to talk about car seat expiration to create some awareness to control severe mishaps with your little one due to expired car seat usage. To get a better and clearer understanding of the topic, let’s first understand a few elements, like what is car seat expiration.
What is the car seat expiration date? How to check if the car seat is expired, and many other points regarding a kid’s safe driving experience.
So let’s get started!
What is the Reason Behind the Car Seat Expiration?
Have you ever wondered when you install a car seat in your car, it has a certain service life? Experts claim that the car seat life span is approx 6 years to 10 years. However, after the completion of this particular period of time, this car seat needs to be discarded and have to switch to the new one.
Even so, some car owners find it unnecessary and cost-consuming. However, experts have researched and concluded that the material used in car seat manufacturing loses its strength with time. Weather conditions play a major part in this process.
For instance, the maximum usage of plastic in the car seat structure gets brittle after a certain period and won’t provide the safety that it is meant to be in a car crash or accident. Ultimately, the thing you are using for your kid’s safety, unfortunately, can be a major cause of harm to your little one. Hence, getting better knowledge about the product you are installing in the car for your kids is essential.
How to Find Out If the Car Seat Is Expired?
As we have stated in the earlier part of the article, the car seat has a life span of 6 years to 10 years. But most of the time, it may be difficult to figure out the car seat expiration date. And the reason behind it.
- Manufacturers have not mentioned or labeled the expiry date on the car seat.
- Use of preowned and used car seats.
To resolve this issue, there are some conclusions that you can use.
- Check out the labels stuck around the car seat. You will notice the manufacturing date and the exact expiry date.
- In case there is no expiry date mentioned on the car seat, then find its manufacturing date. At this time, you have to figure out the expiry date. If it has been completed exactly 6 years (Standard) from the manufacturing date, then the car seat needs to be discarded.
Important Note About Getting the Right Expiration Date
The quality of raw material used for the formation of the car seat is a major contributor to getting the right car seat expiration date. Using high-quality raw materials can exceed the service life period of the car seat. So it is the better option to reach out to the original manufacturer to get the exact car expiration date.
What to Do with Expired Car Seats?
It is possible unknowingly, some of you might use the same car seat for a long time, or after its usage, you pass on these car seats to your friends or family. And sometimes, you sell them to garage owners or anywhere else. So, if you are practicing something like this with your old car seats, then you need to stop this. It may cause some dangerous outcomes for the future owner.
As we have discussed in the primary part of the article, these car seats have a proper discarding process after their expiration so that no one can reuse them. Experts recommend following tasks to discard a car seat completely.
- Cut all the stripes and harness belts from the car seat.
- Pull out the entire padding of the car seat.
- Make sure to stick a label where it is mentioned that this car seat is expired or unsafe to use.
It is necessary to follow the above tasks to ensure the complete disposal of the car seat so that there is no possibility of using these expired car seats in the future. Now, let’s move further and understand how you can choose a safe car seat for your child according to their age.
Which Car Seat is Appropriate or Safe to Use: Age-Wise?
In the market, you will probably get numerous options for the car seat. Meanwhile, many details are already mentioned in the product itself. And it might be confusing sometimes to get the right car seat. So, let’s understand the primary types of these car seats
1. Rare-Facing Car Seat
Generally, this car seat is used for infants or toddlers. It is a backward-facing car seat that ensures the safety of your infant in a car crash. Moreover, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rare-facing car seat for infants until the age of two.
Rare-facing car seat has two subtypes: infant seat and convertible seat. In the infant car seat, the installation of the car seat is backward-faced, and it can not be changed.
And in a convertible one, it can be installed at the front-facing or facing both with harness and belts.
2. Forward Facing Car Seats
Forward-facing car seats are mainly recommended for preschoolers or ages above two years, with proper harnesses for safety. In the forward-facing car seat section, you can find two subtypes, i.e., convertible and combination seats. In convertible cars, seats can be installed front-facing or back-facing.
On the other hand, combination seats can only be installed in the front-facing.
3. Booster Seats
For booster seats, experts advise this seat for elementary schoolers or at the age of 8. However, the forward-facing car seat will be a booster one after removing the harness.
Apart from this, you will get information on the product where you can check out the maximum weight and height limit mentioned on the car seat. According to that information, you can decide the right car seat for your child.
As we have discussed the essential information about car seats, now take a glance at what important point you should consider if you are using a car seat or thinking of buying one.
Important Tips for Car Seat Users to Ensure Infant Safety
While driving with toddlers, it is very important to take care of their safety. Especially when you are using car seats for them, here we have explained a few tips that you can go through before buying a new one or even if you are using it currently.
- Before buying a new car seat for your infant, check the manufacturing year. I always prefer a car seat that is manufactured in the same year. However, sometimes it happens you buy a car seat without checking its manufacturing, and it has a very minimum service life left. Ultimately, you will be at a loss. So make sure to check out the manufacturing date first.
- Choose the car seat not only considering the age of the child but also taking weight and height into account for a comfortable and secure car ride.
- Although it is not banned in many countries to use a car seat even after expiration, but try to avoid buying used car seats. It comes with the possibility of previous damage or any other history which we are not aware of. In this case, experts also advise avoiding the used buying option.
- You should not conduct the car seat installation process. For proper installation, always take the assistance of a car seat safety technician. They better understand the positions and alignments to avoid mishaps while riding.
- Do check the car seat manual and vehicle manual to find out the essential aspects of the product. Especially the preferred car seat position, which is recommended and will be suitable for the car.
- While placing your infant in the car seat, take care of the harness and safety belts. Appropriately tighten them and then have a ride.
Having a car is very common these days. Most of the parents love to enjoy rides with their kids. For teenagers, it may not concern that much because they can fit in the adult seat and can use the seat belt that is provided in the car.
But for infants, toddlers, or kids up to 12 years, installing car seats has been a convenient option. Even though it’s a convenient property, it has another huge factor, and that is car seat expiry. Most car owners are unaware of this.
So, in this article, we have tried to create awareness about the car seat expiration topic. We have discussed very informative aspects regarding it. To give a deeper understanding, we have discussed this topic by knowing the primary elements.
For instance, what is car seat expiration? All the shared information in the article is very useful, and it will indeed create awareness to have a safe and secure car journey with your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know When My Car Seat Expires?
If you want to check your car seat expiration date, then first check out the labels stuck around the car seat. On that label, you will get the manufacturing date and expiry date. If these sticker does not consist of an expiry date, then self-calculate it using the manufacturing date. Most car seats expire around 6 to 10 years after manufacturing.
What is a Convertible Car Seat?
Usually, the car seat has 3 prime categories, i.e., rare-facing car seats can be used for infants and toddlers, forward-facing car seats for 2+ children, and booster car seats for 8+ children. In rare-facing and forward-facing car seats, there is one subcategory, which is convertible.
Are Car Seats Good for 5 or 7 Years?
Yes! You can use forward-facing car seats for preschoolers. Before installing the car seat for this age, check the weight and height of your child to get the right car seat. On the car seat or in the manual, you will get information about the maximum weight and height limit of the seat.