Car seat bases are usually used with infant car seats. It expires typically at the time indicated on the owner’s manual upon purchase.

Studies have shown infant car seats last for 6-10 years from the manufacture date. Parents must keep an eye on the car seat expiration dates to avoid lawsuits and accidents.

In the case of a car accident, both child seat and their bases should be replaced.

Parents should normalize putting the life of their children safe while traveling. For that reason, the cars should be fitted with child safety seats and replaced upon the car seat expiration date if you have a baby.

Read my guide on height requirements before sitting on the front passenger seat and avoid penalty.

Do Car Seat Bases Expire – Is It Illegal To Use An Expired Car Seat?

Infant car seats and their bases do expire. Your child’s safety depends on the type of seat chosen, how it has been installed on the base, and whether it meets the requirements of safety regulations.

Either way, ensure your infant’s car seat is up-to-date and used by the child’s right age.

  • Wear And Tear
  • Safety Standard And Safety Regulations
  • Advancement In Technology
  • Change In Temperature
  • Food Spills
  • Latching And Unlatching
  • Baby’s Weight Towards The Base
  • Abusive Use
  • Manufacturer Crash Test Limit
  • Poor Installation On The Base

Wear And Tear

You may find yourself buying a second hand car seat for your baby, not knowing the dangers you have put your child in.

It may have unnoticed faults hence unable to protect your child, even during a minor crash let alone a severe crash.

Also, as your baby’s tiny teeth veneer grows, he may want something to soothe his upcoming teeth. Therefore, finding them chewing the straps, making it wear and tear.

In addition, using a stiff brush may damage the fabric causing it to tear.

Safety Standard And Safety Regulations

Nowadays, most car manufacturers ensure maximum safety protection by engaging in car crash tests and what needs to be done to minimize fatal injuries and deaths.

Additionally, car seat laws have been strict on ensuring every passenger on board has a safety belt.

And those with a child seat must ensure it has not reached the expiry date. They also confirm whether the seats are properly fitted to the base.

Advancement In Technology

It may be challenging to replace expired infant car seats as the technology evolves. Most car manufacturers keep on changing the vehicle seat to modern technology.

Therefore, finding replacement parts for old infant car seats may be challenging. Moreover, recent car seats have more look and style features than the old seats.

Change In Temperature

The difference in temperature changes affects the lifespan of infant car seats. Places with high-temperature damage the plastic parts of the product creating a line of weakness that can, later on, wear away.

Also, as the car engine generates heat as it moves, it may damage the seat rendering it useless in a severe crash.

Moreover, during the summer seasons, the country is too hot. This affects the infant car seat’s plastic parts by creating weak points that can easily tear when there is a sudden movement by the car.

Food Spills

As kids tend to eat snacks while traveling, the food particles might get stuck in some crucial parts. This can be dangerous as it can prevent it from proper functioning.

For example, if a liquid spill on the metallic parts, it can rust and become obsolete.

The same applies to if it spills on the spongy parts of the seat. The cotton in it will rot and tear off.

Food particles of snacks like cookies and crisps can accidentally enter the spare parts, preventing them from being flexible as required.

Latching And Unlatching

Frequent latching and unlatching may also cause the baby’s car seat springs to wear, making them obsolete.

Baby’s Weight Towards The Base

As your baby grows, their body weight adds up, thereby compressing the base. For this reason, ensure the car seat base is compatible with the child’s weight up to the expiry date.

Abusive Use

Some kids lack manners as they play around in the car while traveling. These movements might cause some cracks or create lines of weaknesses on the seat, making it unsafe for use.

Manufacturer Crash Test Limit

Car seat manufacturers such as Graco, set a limit while testing the level of safety an infant car seat can protect your child. For instance, the seat cannot safeguard a 15-year-old or so. Therefore, the manufacturer designs a car seat with a certain amount of lifespan.

Poor Installation On The Base

Lack of skills in fixing an infant car seat base may be another reason for its expiry. This way, your baby is not protected in case of a car crash or accident.

You should confirm with the car seat inspection station to ensure the seat is properly installed for maximum protection.

Read my guide on when to move your baby from an infant car seat to a toddler seat here.

  • Constant exposure to high temperature may weaken plastic parts of the infant car seat, causing it to wear and tear. Food particles and drink spills can damage the movable parts making them not function well.
  • Old infant car seats whose instruction labels have faded away pose a danger to the user as you may not know that the car seat base has reached the maturity date. They can be using an expired car seat, therefore putting their child’s life at risk.
  • If you are not in a position to trace the last condition for the case of a second hand infant car seat as to whether it was an accident or a car crash, it can endanger the life of the children since it may be difficult to identify a fault.
  • According to an analysis by Healthy Steps National Evaluation, maternal depression symptoms have also affected infants using infant car seats in some way.
  • Also, most infant car seats have a plastic shell which, when expired, cannot be functional in the case of an accident or car crash. Other parts made of metal can rust, preventing it from properly functioning.
  • For those parents who do crash testing on their own to check for side impact protection, they are posing the life of their children at risk as the method has not been proven safe for use. Car manufacturers should only do car crash tests.
  • The unavailability of car seat spare parts due to advancements in technology has made some people continue using the expired seats on their kids without considering what would happen if the car is involved in an accident.
  • An expired infant car seat that has torn can cause an allergic reaction or, rather, skin irritation on the infant. This is because the babies tend to move back and forth while seated; hence the roughness on the seat can make the baby’s skin itchy. In addition, continued use can result in rashes which can cause instability to the child.
  • If not properly cleaned, an expired infant car seat base can cause infection since infants are prone to infection around dirty surfaces. For example, when they lick the straps or pick food that has fallen on the seat as the parent is driving, they can easily get infected by germs.
  • Expired infant car seat bases may have unnoticed faults, hence threatening an infant’s life.

Read my post on why do police touch your car and prepare to be blown away.

Just like any other product, infant car seats and their bases have an expiry date printed on them. Ideally, anything that has an expiry date means using it afterward is dangerous for use. However, besides the stated expiry dates, the seats and their bases can also expire due to other reasons.

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