7 Things You Should Know About Car Seats And It’s Expiration

Car seats are already very commonly used by people all over the globe because of their broader significance. It is meant to temper the impacts of a collision or crash by helping the body to slow down, thereby protecting your child’s head, the brain, and spinal column–car seats are no wonder undeniably important to ensure safety, security, and health of your precious cargo. There are car seat safety standards, like several crash tests, that car seat manufacturers have to adhere to. But, there are also guidelines for parents to follow when it comes to the use of car seats, convertible car seats, and even car seat expiration. The car seats that are part of travel systems will also have expiration dates, along with the bases you install in your vehicle.

car seats that are part of travel systems will also have expiration dates
Source: flickr.com

Car Seat Expiration

According to research, child restraints reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 70 to 80 percent, while booster seats minimize the risk of non-fatal injuries by 45 percent relative to just seat belts. But how long is a car seat suitable for? As with all good things come to an end, car seats do expire after some time. It’s critical that parents know what their car seat expiration dates are, and that when the seat expires they no longer use it. The car seat expiration referred to in your seat’s safety information is real, and here are seven facts you need to know about how long car seats are suitable for:

  1. Yes, it’s not a market strategy.

Do car seats expire? Most people tend to think that the concept of car seat expiration is just a strategy of car seat manufacturers and distributors to compel their customers somehow to change their car seats after some time, as this would translate to sales. The truth to the matter is that car seats do expire, and the need to replace them is a significant safety concern. Car seat expiration exists to be able to update new safety features on it, and details about the expiration date can be found in your car seat’s safety information.

Also, the materials that your car seat is made of will start to break down, causing them to not function the way they’re supposed to. An expired car seat can be a very dangerous piece of baby gear because it won’t serve as side impact protection the way that it should. The American Academy of Pediatrics heavily cautions against using a car seat beyond its car seat expiration date.

  1. Car seats last for about six years from the manufacturing date.

If you want to know how long are car seats good for, it depends on the brand because the duration varies slightly. One thing is for sure: it is commonly about six years. It is true for the following brands: Britax, Chicco, Cosco, Evenflo, and Recaro. Meanwhile, for Diono, Evenflo Symphony, and Safety 1st, though, it could last two more years. But the longest may have been for Evenflo SafeMax, Graco, and Maxi-Cosi, which can go for around ten years.

You should be able to find the manufacture date printed on the bottom of an infant car seat or convertible car seats. You’ll then just add the six years, or the appropriate length of time, to that date to find the expiration date. Don’t forget that the bases which are part of travel systems will also have an expiration date. This will give you a sense of relief, knowing that you will be using a valid car seat.

Car Seat Expiration


  1. The expiration dates of car seats are easy to spot.

If you want to find out when do car seats expire, check for stickers as these are the familiar places to find the car seat expiration dates. It could be located somewhere around the back of the car seat, at the bottom, or under the fabric padding. Some expiration dates are on the car seats themselves. Better take note of these the moment you purchase them. Knowing what the car seat expiration date is will keep you from inadvertently putting your baby in an expired car seat. This is part of the safety information you should keep in mind throughout the use of the seat.

ou should be able to find the manufacture date printed on the bottom
Source: dover.af.mil

Car Seat Expiration


  1. Car seats deteriorate through continuous use over time.

The base of most car seats is plastic, and car seats are exposed to quick temperature changes even though they stay inside the car. That is one of the reasons why car seats expire. The temperature inside could go from very cold because of the air conditioner to very hot when left outdoors during the heat of noontime. That takes a toll on plastic and causes it to weaken over time. These factors make it necessary to impose car seat expiration to ensure the best quality.

This applies to rear-facing infant car seats, convertible car seats, and seats that are part of travel systems, as well as the bases. You have to be very diligent with the use of car seat convertible style because of their intended use for children as they grow. These are meant to be used as your baby gets older, so make sure you know what the car seat expiration date is. Even an older child should not be sitting in an expired car seat.

  1. Car seats can go obsolete after a few years.

Technology developments improve the capabilities of an old car seat to protect your little one better. While used car seats could be a practical option, you cannot just decide on it haphazardly. So it would always be better to check for the expiration date so that you won’t be using outdated car seats. Also make sure to test the car seat with possible wear and tear. Even government agencies render old car seats obsolete over time.

You want to make sure the baby products you’re using are doing the best job at what they’re intended for. When peer reviewed studies reveal better ways to protect our children, it’s a good idea to go with the products that have the best safety information. That might mean staying away from used car seats convertible in nature, infant car seats, and travel systems car seats. You need your car seat’s features to hold up in the event that you need them to.

  1. New and better car seats come out in the market.

Aside from the modern technologies involved in the new car seats, there are also better car seats in the market because of the innovation that they bring. That means some car seats may fit your car better than the old one, it may be more comfortable due to a softer fabric, it may be more durable due to the materials used, or it may be easier to install than the older versions.

Travel systems are very popular for families with infants and young children. These come with a stroller, an infant car seat meant for rear facing, and sometimes a base that the infant car seat can just click in and out of in the car. Many families will try to keep their travel systems to use again with another baby. The strollers typically won’t have expiration dates, but the rear facing car seat and base will. Also, those pieces often get updated with newer, better features. Make sure you get these replacement parts if you’re planning to keep using your travel systems with multiple children.

Car Seat Expiration

  1. Car seats deteriorate through continuous use over time.

First of all, it would not be best to throw your used car seat in the trash. You may have to do some dismantling so that somebody would not unknowingly use it past the car seat expiration date. You need to remove the foam, discard the padding and fabric, cut the straps, cut the cover seat, and remove any metal parts. To have an easier time, you can also bring your expired car seats to stores that offer special rebates for trade-in.

If you refer to safety information about expired car seats, it’s detailed in there about how to dispose of an expired car seat. The responsible way to do it is by dismantling.

Source: flickr.com

So the next time you hear an ad about car seat expiration, believe them. Take the responsibility to know when does a car seat expire and dispose of them accordingly when the time comes. Safety does not just happen with how you use a product but knowing when to stop using it when it is no longer serving its purpose to protect your little ones.

FAQs On Car Seat Expiration

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Bry Roquero

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