Do Booster Seats Expire?
What Will I Learn?
- Do Booster Seats Expire?
- Do Backless Booster Seats Expire?
- Do Car Seat Bases Expire?
- Do Car Seats Have a Shelf Life?
- Can I Use a Car Seat if It Is 10 Years Old?
- Why Do Car Seats Expire?
- How to Tell if My Car Seat Has Expired?
- Where Is the Expiration Date on a Car Seat?
- When Do Graco Car Seats Expire?
- Where Is the Expiration on Britax Car Seats?
- When Do Chicco Car Seats Expire?
- Where Is the Expiration on Baby Trend Car Seats?
- When Do Evenflo Car Seats Expire?
- Can I Purchase a Used Car Seat?
- How to Buy a Used Car Seat?
- How to Properly Dispose of an Expired Car Seat?
- Wrap Up!
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on if Booster Seats Expire
Are you wondering if your child’s convertible booster seat is still safe to use? Or if you need to replace it? You’re in the right place!
Find out how to tell when seat expiration occurs and how to properly dispose of a car safety seat that has expired.
I’ve heard many parents say, “I’m going to use this booster until my baby doesn’t need it anymore. Then, I’ll find another use for it.” While that’s a completely reasonable thing to say, it’s not entirely practical.
Car seat manufacturers set their own expiration dates for the specific product. So, yes, booster seats actually do expire, and different booster seats come with different expiry dates.
Since the car seat industry might carry some confusing recommendations, it can be difficult to know whether your child’s seat is safe. Therefore, I will help you understand how to check for a manufacture date, and how to dispose of an old car seat.
Reveal it to me already!
Do Backless Booster Seats Expire?
Yes, backless booster seats expire. But that doesn’t mean you should throw them away right away.
Backless booster seats can last for almost 6-10 years! But over time, they can wear down or become damaged.
Do Car Seat Bases Expire?
Most car seats come with a base that you can attach to the back of your vehicle’s seat. The base keeps the car seat stable and secure while you drive. Moreover, the car seat base uses an expiration date tag that’s usually present underneath the base.
So, it’s important to make sure it’s not an expired seat and is properly installed before you put your baby in the seat.
Do Car Seats Have a Shelf Life?
You want to protect your child from harm by using the safest possible seat in your vehicle. But how do you know when it’s time for a new one?
Is there a shelf life for car seats? As it turns out, yes – though not every single one follows these rules. Every car seat brand manufactures and tests car seats differently. So, the general shelf life of a car seat which is usually six years may vary depending on the brand of baby seat you use.
Can I Use a Car Seat if It Is 10 Years Old?
Manufacturers design car seats to last for six to ten years, so it’s not too surprising that a car seat you bought 10 years ago might be ready for replacement. But, not all car seats expire at the same time.
Generally speaking, individual parts of a car seat can become worn out over time, eventually becoming ineffective even though the rest of the car seat is still usable.
For the safety of your child, it is best to not use your car seat if it is more than 10 years old. Car seats have an expiration date, and after that date, they can be unsafe because they have reached the end of their useful life.
Why Do Car Seats Expire?
Here are some factors that contribute to the expiry of car seats:
In a car accident, the seat can be damaged or even become unusable. Make sure your child’s car seat is inspected after any collision that occurs.
When a car seat is recalled, it means that there’s an issue with the car seat that could affect your child’s safety. Even if the car seat hasn’t expired yet, but needs to be fixed, do it immediately. You can always contact the manufacturer for more information.
The materials used in a car seat will degrade over time as they are exposed to chemicals, heat/cold, and humidity. All these things can affect the integrity of a car seat. This can lead to degradation in safety, comfort, and performance.
How long your car seat will last depends on how much use it gets, how old your child is and how well you maintain it.
Changing Regulatory Standards
To stay compliant with the latest car seat standards, it’s important to ensure that your seat is up-to-date.
Expiration dates ensure that products are free from missing or outdated safety features, such as new regulations and the addition of extra height and weight limiters.
Improvement in Technology
The technology in car seat designs improves over time, so any car seat that has been passed down by friends or family is likely to lack the latest safety features.
Used car seats may have a worn-out fabric that you can’t clean or break more easily than a new car seat. Don’t use a secondhand car seat that almost survived an accident or when you think it is damaged.
Limits of Manufacturer Testing
Most car seats are best for infants and toddlers. They may still be safe for a preschooler or small child.
But no one in the industry expects them to keep supporting a teenager. And thus, brands like Graco, Chicco, Evenflo, etc. do not test them for say 17 years.
Car seats have weight and age limits. So all-in-one car seats, seats that change from rear-facing to forward-facing and boosters — are not tested for more than 10–12 years of use.
How to Tell if My Car Seat Has Expired?
Here are some signs of expired car seats:
- The plastic covering has cracked or been punctured.
- You can see any cracks in the plastic shell of the car seat.
- The fabric is torn or damaged.
- The straps are frayed or worn.
If you’re not sure whether your car seat has expired, check the manufacturer’s label on the back of the seat.
Besides, if it’s hard to find or has worn off, call a certified child passenger safety technician to help you figure out when the brand manufactured the seat.
If there are no labels, look for a sticker that shows the date of manufacture. The sticker should be on the back or side of the seat’s shell. It may contain information about when it’s DOM and how long it will last before you need to replace it.
If you can’t find either of those things, try to remember when you bought your car seat and use that as a reference point for when you’ll need to replace it.
Where Is the Expiration Date on a Car Seat?
If you’re wondering where to find the car seat expiration date of your child’s seat, there is no standard place. This information may be present on a sticker put somewhere on the car seat usually underneath or on the frame’s side.
But if it isn’t visible, the brand has probably mentioned it in the manual. In most cases, you’ll see a month and year next to words like “use until” or “expiration date.”
When Do Graco Car Seats Expire?
Graco car seats come with a “useful life” of 10 years for belt-positioning boosters and for plastic-reinforced belt-path car seats, it is seven years. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends inspecting your car seat regularly to ensure that it does not deteriorate in any way.
Where Is the Expiration on Britax Car Seats?
Britax Car Seats come with a five- to ten-year lifespan. You can find the expiration date of your car seat using the given serial number on the car seat and user manual.
The expiration date differs from one model to another.
When Do Chicco Car Seats Expire?
Chicco car seats have an expiration date stamped on the back of the manual. Most Chicco car seats will expire within six, eight, or ten years after their production. But before that time, take care to ensure you are checking for recalls and also know how to maintain your car seat properly.
Where Is the Expiration on Baby Trend Car Seats?
Baby Trend car seats can last for many years. If a model does not have a date stamped on it, the expiration date for the seat is the date that the company guarantees it will work as intended.
When Do Evenflo Car Seats Expire?
Evenflo car seats expire six years from the date of manufacture or six years from the date of purchase, whichever comes first.
The date of manufacture has been a little hard to find on some products in the past and included many different locations.
Can I Purchase a Used Car Seat?
As a parent, you take your child’s safety very seriously, it is why you make sure that their car seat is safe and secure each time your baby uses it.
After all, buying a new car seat ensures that you’re buying the best product for your little one. However, some parents may be tempted to buy a used car seat given the $200-$300 expenditure on a new seat.
You should always replace the seats if they’ve been in an accident, or they have any damage to them. Therefore, I do not recommend buying a secondhand car seat. Still, if you are getting a good deal and know what to look for in a used car seat to ensure the maximum safety of your child, then go for it!
How to Buy a Used Car Seat?
Buying a used car seat is a great way to save money. But it can be difficult to know if the seat you’re considering is safe and reliable. Here are some tips for buying secondhand car seats:
- Make sure it fits your car. Even if your car has room for four passengers, don’t just assume that seats will fit when they are not going to. Therefore, make sure the used baby car seat is compatible with your vehicle.
- They should fit snugly into their designated area, so they don’t slide around while driving. This is especially important if you’re going to be using them with infants/toddlers who may not be able to hold themselves still enough yet.
- Check the expiration date. Make sure the car seat has not expired. If it has, skip it and move on to another one.
- Inspect the straps and harnesses closely for wear and tear, especially around the buckle and chest clip areas. It may be difficult to see damage on the inside of the shell or fabric. If there’s any fraying or pilling of fabric around these areas, don’t buy it!
- Check for cracks in plastic parts like buckles, shoulder straps, headrests, and backings. If there are any cracks in those areas then it’s time to move along.
- Those cracks could lead to injury during an accident or sudden stops/turns. It would cause them to break completely off causing nothing but trouble for your child.
How to Properly Dispose of an Expired Car Seat?
In the US alone, there are millions of expired car seats lying about in closets and basements, waiting until a good spring cleaning to get outside. You know that these aren’t good anymore, but what do you do with them?
It may be tempting to dispose of an expired car seat by tossing it in the garbage. However, there are a variety of ways that you can safely dispose of this equipment.
Before disposal, cut the straps and seat. Besides, you can write (“DO NOT USE – EXPIRED”) on the car seat with a permanent marker.
Also, don’t forget to check local baby stores and big-box retailers (like Walmart and Target) for car seat recycling or trade-in programs!
When it comes to child car seats and booster seats, there should be nothing but the best. Every car seat expires but the range of their useful life varies among models and brands. Generally, car seat expiration dates lie between six to ten years, after which you should dispose of it. Never use a car seat past its expiration date.
It’s possible to use a secondhand car seat if it is in great condition (even after a car crash). Whether you need a booster seat for a preschooler or an older child, you want to make sure it’s still safe before you use it.
Check the model number, and the car seat’s expiration date, and read the labels from your car seat manufacturer. From there you’ll get the information about when the car seat expires or how old it is.
Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by Danny Reid