A safe car seat is an absolute necessity if you plan to travel safely with your child. If you’ve been given a pre-owned seat or are having another baby and want to use one you already own, put safety first and check the seat’s expiration date. Not every seat is safe, and just because it looks safe on the outside doesn’t mean that it actually is. We’re here to tell you how to confirm whether your seat is safe for use.
Safety Before Style
While you may be tempted to use and reuse your child’s infant or convertible seat for additional children, you need to be sure that the seat hasn’t expired. An expired infant, booster, or convertible seat is no longer safe for use, even if it’s just a few months past the date of expiration. Technological advancements, changing regulations, research findings, and the fact that plastic breaks down over time are all reasons why you don’t want to keep using an expired seat.
If you do happen to get into an accident while driving with an expired seat, there is no guarantee that the seat will adequately protect your child. For that reason, it’s important that you eliminate any added risk and instead ensure that your child’s seat is in good condition and is within the acceptable use period. Checking for the date of expiration will help you feel confident in the quality of the seat and that, in the event of a crash, that seat will protect your child.
Checking for the Expiration Date
A typical seat can be safely used for four to ten years. But first, you have to know where to look to find the expiration date. You don’t have to Google your seat online in the hopes of finding the date of expiration.
All you have to do is remove the seat from your car, flip it upside down, and locate a white sticker at the bottom of the seat. This white sticker will have all the information about the seat, including the expiration date.
When the White Sticker Isn’t There
Hand-me-downs can save you a lot of money. It can be tempting to use a pre-owned seat, especially when your sister, friend, or neighbor who loves high-end baby products gives you an expensive booster or infant seat to use for your child. Regardless of the quality of the seat and how much it retails for, it’s important that before you set your heart on using it that you check the date of expiration. If it’s within the safe timeframe, by all means, enjoy that seat.
If not, or if the sticker isn’t there, we advise you to NOT use that seat. Even though it may look like it’s in great shape, if it doesn’t have a sticker on the bottom to tell you the date of expiration, you’ll never be able to know for sure whether it will protect your child as it should. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll be far better off spending the money on a new product that you know is safe rather than using one that potentially isn’t.
When the Date of Expiration Doesn’t Matter
Even if your child’s booster, infant, or convertible seat has not expired, there are some reasons that you should discontinue using it to keep your child safe. If the seat has been in the car during an accident, you should no longer use it since the seat’s integrity could have been compromised by the crash.
Additionally, if the seat has experienced damage in any way, has become worn out from overuse, or the model has been recalled, the date of expiration no longer matters, and you should discard the seat and replace it as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a reliable, safe vehicle, it doesn’t matter how safe your child’s seat is. You need a vehicle that you can rely on to keep everyone in your family safe, and we can help! Visit us today at BestRide to explore our thousands of new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles that will help you feel safe while driving, regardless of who is in the car with you.