Do Car Seats Expire? What you Need to Know.
When it comes to things we buy all the time, and those staples that are on our weekly grocery list, we have a really good idea of when they go bad. But when it comes to bigger purchases that are made only once or twice, we sometimes don't even think to LOOK for an expiration date. That's definitely true when it comes to our littles' car seat.
We did a little poll over on our instagram, and it turns out that not every mama knows about car seats expiring, or why it's even important. Well at The Baby Cubby, we take car seat safety so seriously, that we're throwing an entire event to help you switch out your old one and save some money when you purchase a new one.
Since we know that car seats are a big purchase for you and you want to have all the facts before making a decision, we're doing everyone a solid and giving you all the info to make sure you and your littles are safe and sound every time they're in the car!
Why do Car Seats Expire?
The same way that you don't want to be driving around in a car that doesn't have working air bags or don't want to sleep on a mattress that has lost all of its spring and padding, your child's car seat will start to experience wear and tear the older it gets.
Most car seats will have an expiration around 5-6 years post manufacturing. That means that the car seat has either been safety tested and shown to only be safe to that date, or the materials the car seat is made from will start to lose their integrity at or around the expiration date.
Car seats are designed to absorb a lot of pressure and the frame will show hairline fractures and the foam or filler material will start to become less safe the older the seat gets. The extreme temperatures that car seats are exposed to are also taken into account, and will contribute to break down of the base materials (mainly plastic) that most car seats are made from.
Oftentimes, car seats and manufacturers are working on better and safer ways to construct car seats, so the more outdated your car seat, the less safe it is compared to what it could be, and the safety standards for seats can change, so it's important to check to make sure that your seat is up to at least the minimum industry standards. Most states have a government run website or location to check to make sure your seat is up to code and is safely installed, but if you're local in Utah, you can come in to The Baby Cubby and one of our CPS (child passenger safety) Techs can check everything out for you and make sure you're comfortable using the seat!
Most car seats will have either (or both) the manufacturer date and the expiration date printed on the bottom of the car seat, but if you're not able to find it call the company that makes your seat and find out when your seat expires and when you need to get a new one!
Why Does it Matter?
So now that we know car seats expire, why should you care? The simple fact is that you're not putting your child in a crash-tested, up-to-date, or safety tested seat when it's past the expiration date. You may also want to consider that if you were to get in an accident with your child in an expired seat, the company would have little to no obligation to cover any damages that could occur.
At The Baby Cubby we believe that you should spend only as much as your family is able to when it comes to car seats, but we do recommend that you spend as much as you can. Car seat companies are always trying to improve on older models to make seats even more safe. Considering proper car seat safety can cut down on fatal injuries by 70-80%, it's definitely worth investing in!
If you're unsure where to find your expiration date on your car seat, or don't know what seat to get for your growing child, come stop in to The Baby Cubby and meet one of our CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Techs to get more detailed info about installation, car seat comparisons and specs, and which seats are the right choice for your little ones.
Car seat safety matters for every family and every kid that gets buckled up. That's why we think it is SO important for you to know when your seat expires, why it matters, and when it's time to upgrade. Come in to The Baby Cubby and save 15%* when you trade in your old/expired car seat (or stroller) and buy a new one!
*Some brands or exclusions may apply