Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Why Do Car Seats Expire

Finding out that I'm going to be a grandma has made me take a look at things I thought I knew about. Turns out that things have changed in the last 21 years since I was a new mother. One of the biggest changes I've noticed is that car seats now have an expiration date on them. I don't remember anything about that back when I bought my first car seat.

So I looked into it and found that there are good reasons for car seats having expiration dates.

Materials Wear Down- Have you ever left a plastic toy out in the heat of the sun over the summer and go to pick it up after 3 months only to find the plastic part is now brittle and cracked from the sun damage? Well that's the same sort of thing that happens to a plastic car seat after having been left in the car for years. The extreme hot and cold temperature changes will change the composition of the plastic, making it brittle and putting tiny micro cracks into the seat. so if you have a car crash the car seat could completely crumble, or crack apart leaving your baby vulnerable and possibly hurt.

Technology Gets Better-  Like I said, back in 1990 things were different and a lot of the new latches, restraints and materials were not available back then, things change and get better. That's another reason for the expiration dates on car seats, as technology improves the car seat safety also improves. I would rather get rid of an old car seat and buy a newer safer one that take the chance my grandson could be hurt with the older one.

How Long Are Car Seats Good For- From what I have read most car seats expire 6 years from the manufacture date. Now this is important because some people will wait a year and buy last years model hoping to get it for cheaper. But it will expire sooner also and you should keep that in mind. Some models don't expire for 10 years but that's rare and you have to read what the owners manual says about that. The expirations date will be on the manufacturers label on the bottom or sides of the car seat.

For those of you that didn't know about this I hope this information helps.

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