Car seats all have different expiration dates. Some expire after six years, and others can last up to 10 years from the manufacturing date. If they all had labels, it would be easy to tell, but often the label is gone or faded. Because it is so important to make sure that your car seat is not expired, you need to know how to find out. Take a look at the following ways to determine if a car seat is expired.
Check the Car Seat for an Expiration Date
The first thing you should do is check the car seat itself for an expiration date. You will often find it stamped in the plastic on the body of the car seat. It will say something similar to “Do Not Use this car seat after December 2022.” Check the entire car seat for this stamp.
You also might find a tag or a sticker on the car seat somewhere with the expiration date. If you are unable to find it, you might be able to find the manufacturer date. This is the date the car seat was made. If you find this date but not the expiration date, you will need to call the manufacturer to find out when it expires.
Check the User Manual
Another way to find out the expiration date of your car seat is to check the user manual. You may find a place where it tells you how long the car seat will last before it expires. Car seats are made with a heavy duty plastic, which is part of why they expire. The plastic is strong, but it does break down over time, and if the car seat is expired, the plastic is likely to break apart upon impact. In this case, it will not protect the baby in case of an accident.
For this reason, it is important to read through the owner’s manual and see if you can find out when it expires and how long it should last. It is never worth the risk to put your baby in an expired car seat.
Ask the Former Owner
If you are getting a secondhand car seat from someone else, you can ask them when they bought it. They might have an idea of when the expiration date is as well. This is not as reliable because they may not know or they may not tell you.
If you get a car seat that is used, you will also want to make sure that it has never been in an accident. It could have been damaged, and this will prevent it from being as effective.
Car seats expire for good reason; they lose their effectiveness over time. The plastics break down from wear and tear, and when they become compromised, they are unable to effectively protect your baby. It is important to make sure that you never use an expired car seat.
If you get a used car seat that is not expired, you will want to make sure that it hasn’t been in an accident before. You will also want to make sure that it has all of the parts that are supposed to come with it. Car seats are made to specific specifications to be as safe as possible for your baby. If you get one that is used, just make sure that it still has everything it came with.
If you are unable to find out when the car seat expires, you should probably pass on it and find another one. You can try to call the manufacturer, but if all else fails, you can find one that tells you the expiration date. This is the most effective way to make sure that your baby is protected and safe in the car.