If you’ve got an expired car seat for your baby, it can be a bit of a hassle. You don’t want to get rid of it, but you also don’t want to use it. You’re probably wondering: what do I do with this thing? So, Don’t worry about an expired baby car seat, we have some answers for you!
What is an expired car seat?
It’s important to know what an expired car seat looks like and how to read the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture is often found on the underside of the car seat, near a label that says “expiration” or “date of manufacture.” It’ll be listed as a month and year. The manufacturer generally recommends that you use a car seat for five years from its date of manufacture. If you can’t find this information, check with the manufacturer directly (or just give it an educated guess).
An expiration date will generally be found on a label affixed to your car seat that also lists the date of manufacture. This information can be found in two places:
- The new-car smell-worthy safety manual (known as a “manual” for short) that comes with your car seat, is usually stashed in its own pocket or page within the instruction manual for installing it into your vehicle. Once you’ve pulled it out, flip through until you see something like “Expiration Date.”
- Or directly printed on the plastic shell itself (the hard part of the shell). You’ll also see other numbers—like model number and serial number—printed there as well.
If you can’t find either of these things, you can always look up the car seat’s model number on the manufacturer’s website. It should have a label somewhere on it that lists this information.
Is it safe to ride in expired car seats?
Whether or not it’s safe to ride in expired car seats is a resounding yes! Car seats can be used for many years after their expiration date, even if they have passed the 5-year mark. If you have an older car seat and are wondering if it’s time to update, we recommend checking out our article on what makes a top-rated convertible car seat.
As long as your seat hasn’t been damaged by wear and tear or misuse (such as being left in extreme temperatures), there isn’t anything wrong with continuing to use your old car seat past its stated expiration date.
Of course, no one wants to use a car seat that isn’t safe. If you’re concerned about whether or not your old car seat is still up to par, there are several things you can do. First, check the expiration date on the label of your seat and make sure it hasn’t passed yet. Next, check for damage such as frayed straps or cracked plastic components. If the seat is damaged, it should not be used. Finally, you can take your car seat to a local fire station or police department and have them inspect it for free. If they say that there’s nothing wrong with it, then at least you know that your baby will be safe in their old seat
If the seat is still in good condition, try to find out how old it actually is. It’s probably safe to keep using if you purchased it new and have been using it for a while. When you bought a used one or got your seat as a hand-me-down from family or friends, however, be sure to test out any damage before taking your child out in their car seat again.
How to Get Rid of Expired Car Seats?
If you’ve found a car seat that doesn’t have the latest certification, don’t worry! You can still use it if it has no visible damage.
Donate it to somebody
There are many charities that accept used car seats, including Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Child Passenger Safety Board. You can also contact your local police department or fire station to see if they have any programs in place that accept donations of this kind. If you’re not sure where to donate the seat, try searching for your local branch of Safe Kids Worldwide. This organization partners with hospitals and other community organizations to provide car seats. If you don’t have a seat but know someone who does, or if a family member has recently had a child and could use one, consider donating it!
If you decide to recycle your old car seat, check with your local recycling center about their policies. Some facilities may accept them, while others will not. If yours does accept them, call ahead to make sure they’re open on the day you plan on dropping off your seat. Before doing so, be sure it’s in good shape by inspecting it for any damage that could cause harm if used again (such as cracks in the plastic shell).
If you’re sure your old car seat is no longer safe to use, throw it out with the regular garbage. Don’t try to recycle it at home as this can cause injury if not done properly.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of an expired baby car seat, there are plenty of ways to do it. You can donate them to charity, sell them on eBay or Craigslist, or even just throw them away. No matter what method you choose, though, remember that it’s important not only to protect your baby but also the environment around us!
Q: How can I find out if my car seat is expired?
A: Look for an expiration date on the tag that’s attached to the car seat. If there isn’t one, then you should check with your manufacturer or retailer to see if they know when it was made.
Q: Can I just throw away a broken car seat or one that doesn’t work properly anymore?
A: No. It’s important to make sure that you properly dispose of your car seat instead of just throwing it away, as this will help both you and the environment.
Q: Can I reuse a car seat after my baby has outgrown it?
A: No. Once your child has outgrown their current car seat, you should make sure that they are properly placed in one that fits them better before driving again.