Buyer Beware: Does Your Baby Car Seat Come With An Expiration Date?

Buyer Beware: Does Your Baby Car Seat Come With An Expiration Date?

Parents and guardians open ears upon mention of baby safety. Baby products are held under intense scrutiny as parents and guardians peruse reviews to find the best. Of course, baby products are not cheap. Car seats, cribs, and other necessities come at a price, which leads some to seek second-hand or used products. While there is nothing wrong with saving money, it’s important to ensure your baby remains safe.

A Minor Crash

Most manufacturers suggest doing away with a baby car seat as soon as it’s involved in a major crash while some admit that the integrity of the product is not changed during minor crashes. While some don’t like the idea of differentiating, some characteristics of a minor crash include airbags that did not deploy and occupants that were not injured. Furthermore, the car must be drivable immediately following the accident.

All the Parts

When buying some things secondhand, a person may not be meticulous in ensuring the current condition of the product is exact to one coming straight out of the box. However, a baby car seat warrants avid attention. By all means, make sure the car seat has all its parts and none are cracked, broken, or frayed.

Check the Expiration

Did you know you have to check the expiration date of a baby car seat? Somewhere on the baby product, you’ll find a mail-sticker sized printout, which provides the serial number and expiration date. Locating the expiration date can be confusing since a bunch of numbers appears on the label. If you can’t find an explicit expiration date, it’s understood that most manufacturers agree that it’s time for a new seat after six years from production.

A New Car Every Six Years

One could debate the need for a new car seat every six years since one doesn’t have to buy a new jeep every six years, right? To learn more, head to an online Jeep dealer. Well, the reason for the car seat expiration date is due to the tenacity of associated plastics. Plastic grows weak and brittle as it ages. Obviously, concerned parents and guardians want a car seat performing at optimal capacity. Also, since car seat technology is always improving, your child could be missing out on the latest in safety developments.


As with buying a used car, you’ll want to know the history of your car seat as well as that of the model. For example, it’s not uncommon for child products to be recalled and then released after the concern is addressed. Those buying second-hand seats need to call the manufacturer to inquire about the model’s recall history. Alternatively, refer to online resources to find products that have been recalled.

Make the Mark

If you have found that you’re in possession of an expired seat, please do your civic duty in marking it as expired in permanent marker, so that it can never be repurposed. Also, do your best to recycle rather than trash the car seat. To satiate the demands of your local recycling, you may need to remove any metal or straps before placing in an appropriate bin.


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