Car seats are an important product to buy when you are welcoming a new member into your family. These tiny humans swarm our world with so much love and light that we would never let anything happen to them. This means safety is the first subject to think about when you’re bringing your precious infant home for the first time. So what do you need to know about your car seat and how to read the expiration date?
The Manufacture Date
On every car seat, there is a manufacture date. This tells you when the car seat was made. Now almost all car seats last 6 to 10 years after its manufacture date. To know your exact date you will need to research your Graco car seats on their website: www.gracobaby.com.
Where Is The Manufacture Date On My Car Seat?
The manufacture date is printed at the bottom of your infant’s car seat. This is usually a white label with black print. It is easy to spot and is labelled “manufacture date”. Next to it there should also be a model number. You can use this to help search the website and find the exact expiration date for your specific car seat.
How Do I Know My Car Seat Is Expired?
Your car seat is expired if the manufacture date is over 6 years ago or if the website says your specific car seat has expired. Sometimes car seats get recalled for malfunctions just like if a part in your vehicle were to be recalled because it didn’t work properly. Always make sure to do your research.
Car seats also need to be expired if it has been in a car wreck. Just like a helmet, once it has been in a wreck, it is time to buy a new one. Parts may be damaged on your car seat without you realizing it, and there is no need to risk your infant’s safety.
Is Using An Expired Car Seats Illegal?
Although it is advised not to use an expired car seat, it is not illegal. Now depending on specific states, they may have laws in place that will result in legal consequences if your infant is riding in an expired car seat (like a fine). The federal government, though, has set forth safety regulations for making a car seat, but nothing that will punish a parent for using an expired car seat.
Is It OK To Use An Expired Car Seat?
“Ok” is a relative term. Although a car seat may be expired, it still will provide protection for your infant if it is the only thing you have. But my suggestion is to not use an expired car seat. Like many products, plastics, metals, and other materials tend to degrade over time. Plastics become weak and are easier to bend or break, metals rust, and cloth loses its durability and quality. Don’t risk your infant’s life to save a few bucks. It is better to be safe than sorry.
What Do You Do With An Expired Car Seat?
Most average parents would just throw the car seat in the dump and call it a night. Most don’t even know that there is a proper way to dispose of a car seat, but there is a proper way. First, you must remove all padding, fabric, and straps (like the seat belt) and mark the car seat as unsafe or expired. Then you should recycle the plastic parts from the car seat. Target has a program where you can turn over your expired car seat and recycle it. There may also be other local car seat recycle programs that you can use. You can call around or look it up on the internet to see if there are local programs and where they may be at.
Why Are Expired Car Seats Bad?
Like I said before, expired car seats are bad because after so many years, the materials begin to degrade. The sun warps the plastic with its strong summer heat, the cold air makes plastic brittle, oxidation causes the metal to rust, and more. It can cause your car seat to malfunction or become unsafe. It risks your infant’s safety. Your car seat can break if you were to have a wreck and would not protect your child like it normally should. This is the main reason that expired car seats are bad.
Do Graco Car Seat Bases Expire?
Just like the Graco car seats, the bases expire as well. They too expire within 6 to 10 years depending on each individual base. There should be a manufacture date located at the bottom of the base just like the car seats. You can look up your specific base on the website I provided earlier in this article.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
When buying a car seat, steer away from used car seats. Unless you personally know the person who owned the car seat and they were the original owners, I suggest buying a new one. You never know when a car seat has been in a wreck. When this happens, the car seat is supposed to be disposed of appropriately. Just like if a motorcyclist gets in a wreck, they are supposed to retire the helmet they wrecked in. You do not know if any of the materials of the product has been warped, ripped, torn, or weakened. This can cause the car seat to malfunction if you were to get in a wreck later on and harm your baby.
Your infant is the most important person in your life. They solely rely on you to keep them safe, especially in the early years. Make sure you know when your car seat expires and dispose of it appropriately. There should never be questions on if you should keep the car seat just a little longer or not. Get a new one.DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.