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What Parents Need to Know About Child Car Seat Expirations

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQ on Friday, September 27th, 2019 at 3:44 pm
parent putting baby in a car seat

How Long Is a Child Car Seat Good For? 

Did you know that child car seats expire? Well, they do, and if you’re a parent it’s important to keep this in mind as your child grows older. Many car seats these days are designed to fit children of multiple ages and sizes, as well as grow along with your child, but these car seats will still have an expiration date at some point. 

So, how long is a child car seat good for? Well, that really depends on the manufacturer. An estimate of 5 – 6 years is generally a good bet, but you’ll want to be sure. 

Where to Find a Car Seat’s Expiration Date 

mom putting baby in a car seatThe location of the expiration date may depend on your individual car seat, but generally, it will be printed on the bottom of the car seat base.  

If you are currently using a car seat that you acquired used, we recommend immediately checking the date on the underside. You never know how long it was in use prior to you getting it. If you purchased the car seat new, it’s still a good idea to check the expiration. Like we said, around 5 years is a good bet, but you don’t know for sure until you check.  

[Read more: How long do your car’s wiper blades last?] 

Why Do Child Car Seat’s Expire? 

It seems a bit odd that a child’s car seat would have an expiration date, doesn’t it? It makes it feel like it’s built out of produce and other foods or something like that. While this obviously isn’t the case, car seats are made out of materials that do expire. 

Plastic in particular breaks down over time, and as you’ve seen, car seats are made mostly of plastic. The structural integrity of the car seat relies on that plastic, and if it isn’t as strong as it can be, then that affects the safety capabilities of the seat. 

The metal portions can also be susceptible to rust. Even though they aren’t exposed to the elements like the exterior of the vehicle is, there could still be moisture and salt that gets through to those parts, especially if you consider all the times your toddler has spilled juice, water or snacks in their car seat. 

[Read more: How are car tires made?] 

So, make sure you check the expiration date on your car seats and be sure to check back to the Charlie Clark Nissan El Paso blog for more tips and tricks. 

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