Even though it may sound entirely crazy to you, the car seats do have the expiration date. Like many others, you are probably unaware of the consequences of using an out-of-date car seat. Since the safety of your kids always comes first, you should be alert when purchasing this product for them.
Let’s look into the matter more closely to discover how long are the car seats good for. That way, you will prevent any possible misfortunes. My intention here is to inform you about all the essential things you should consider when buying a car seat for your dearest one.
Several Things to Consider for car seat expiration
Before buying a car seat on sale, always check for the date of expiration. The manufacturers are obliged to highlight it to prove when they have tested and controlled the product. Never purchase the out-of-date one at any circumstances. There are a few crucial things you need to check. Let’s take a close look.
Not so often, but it can be necessary to remove some products from the market. The reasons can be various, such as the outdated version of the product, malfunctions, or in a case when it doesn’t follow the latest safety rules.
In such situations, some manufacturers decide to remove the product from the market to protect the customers. Therefore, you should check the recall list to see if your car seat is still on the market. You should do it if you have a second-hand car seat, even though the expiration date is adequate.
2. Back up parts
Keep in mind that some manufacturers stop producing the replacement parts for most models after the expiration date. The reason is the implementation of new types of products onto the market.
Consequently, they don’t need extra costs for making parts for out-of-date car seats. That means that you can find parts for your car seat just within the good to go period. Otherwise, they don’t want to bother about them.
3. Material endurance
Materials used for seats are often made of plastic, steel, and metal frames. All those materials have a lifespan of their own. Before a product hits the market, the manufacturers test all those materials in different conditions.
It is the fact that heat and cold influence the plastic, which makes the time of its use limited. Therefore, you always need to check the expiration date carefully, to stop using the seat after a certain period.
Since steel is stronger, the heat and cold conditions won’t affect it. On the other hand, it is prone to rust. If the steel or metal frame of the car seat becomes rusty, there is nothing you can do to prolong their efficiency and usage. Plus, it can easily break down in case of a car accident.
4. The changes in regulations and technology
I remember that we couldn’t connect the car seat we used to have for the new car we bought. The reason was the latest car technology. The car seats have to follow car trends and technology. Otherwise, they are useless.
Not only the technology trends are a crucial factor, but traffic regulations play an essential role, as well. Manufacturers need to follow the standards of state traffic regulations to be able to offer products in accordance with the law.
Why Is the Date of Car Seat Production So Crucial?
Material endurance, changing of traffic regulations, car standards, and technology improving are the unavoidable parts of the contemporary world. Therefore, car seat manufacturers have to stay on track and justify the quality of their products.
It doesn’t mean that you will get better quality if you purchase the more expensive car seat. All of the producers need to follow standards to avoid high penalties in case of a car accident. That is the reason why you can rest assured you will always get a product of good quality.
The difference in price lies in the date of production. The expiration date of every car seat starts not from the moment you purchase it, but from the moment it comes out of the production line. That means, if you buy the last-year model, you will have one year less to use it.
The question is, how long is the car seat excellent for use. Basically, it depends on the manufacturer, but it is approximately six years from the date of production. Some brands offer a lifetime of ten years, but be aware that you have to follow the laws for using the particular seats.
In other words, your child probably won’t use the same seat for ten years, as she or he will gain weight and become older. Therefore, you will need to buy the model for elder children determined by the traffic safety regulations.
On the other hand, if you plan to have two or more kids, it will be wise to buy the seat with a more extended expiration period. That way, more than one child can use it.
Where to Check for the Car Expiration Date
There are two dates obligatory for every car seat, including the day of manufacturing and the moment when you should stop using it. You need to look for an expiration date on your car seat in several places. Usually, manufacturers print it at the bottom of the seat, in the product manual, or at the label.
In some cases, you can find it on the seat shell, under the cover, or embedded in plastic. Also, some producers can stamp it on the bottom of the unit or put it back on the base of the seat. If you can’t find it, you should skip purchasing it.
The online shopping of used car seats can be tricky since the sellers never turn the seat upside down to show the expiry date. Plus, even a brand new one can wait at the store for a long time.
Some states in the US have strict laws about the car seat expiration, and policemen checks on seats occasionally. Since they are of high importance for safety, the police officers have the right to take the seat away if the expiration date is inappropriate.