Is your child’s car seat expired?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

It may seem strange to consider but your child’s car seat has an expiration date just like food or milk. Unlike what Facebook may have you believe, it’s not just so companies can sell more car seats.

Here are some of the reasons car seats have a stamped expiration date:

Designs change

Just like other technologies, car seat products evolve and change. While updating your phone every couple of years isn’t a matter of life and death, keeping a car seat up-to-date can be.

Companies develop, test and implement new safety features in car seats all the time. A seat that is a few years old may already be missing several important features that can help children in event of a crash.

Safety test limits

Manufacturers for these car seats typically keep testing their safety viability up till a certain point. Past that point, they cannot say how an older car seat will perform in an impact. Car seats no longer tested for reliability risk a poor performance in an accident.

This obviously endangers the safety of the children using these seats.

Normal wear and tear

The plastic and cloth materials used in the car seat will wear down over time. However, unlike something trivial like a coat, a rip in a car seat can impact safety performance.

Small cracks in the plastic base could impact the structure of the seat so that it can no longer hold up to the force of an impact. Materials break down and eventually, the car seat is no longer safe.

Checking the date

A good rule of thumb is that many car seats are good for up to six years. Almost all car seats will have an expiration date stamped somewhere on the side or bottom of the seat. You can keep updated on your car seat by registering it on the company’s website. This is useful to stay informed about any recalls as well.

By keeping your child’s car seat updated, you can help reduce his or her risks in an accident. Unfortunately, you cannot account for other drivers. If you’re in a car accident, a skilled attorney can help you with the claims process.

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