Being a young mom means we met a little early, but I get to love them longer.

Here are some links to helpful posts I have done in the past :)

Learn about car seat safety HERE!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Car seat safety: Wrecks and expiration dates

There are two more things that mean your child's car seat can no longer be used... wrecks and expiration dates.

Most people don't realize that car seats expire, but they do. Newer car seats have the expiration date listed on the shell, and you can always check your car seat's manual for the expiration date. Some seats expire in five years while others last as long as eight years. Each manufacturer is different. Regardless of that, once your child's car seat expires, it's time for a new one.
Also, this is a direct quote from my reference at the bottom...

"Parents should know that NHTSA instructs its techs and both Safe Kids and the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association agree that no seat should be used for more than a period of 6 years from its date of manufacture"


They expire for three reasons...
1. Technology changes
2. Materials where down
3. The manufacturer may no longer manufacture replacement parts. 


You can check the first reference for how to find your car seat's expiration date.



Another reason that you have to get a new car seat is if it has been in a moderate to severe wreck. It does not matter if the child was in the seat at the time or not. You must get a new one if the seat was in the car when the car was involved in an accident. You do not have to get a new one if it was only a minor wreck...
Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:
  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
  • The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
  • The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat.

If ALL of these criteria are not met, then a new car seat is needed.

For both of these reasons above (the expiration dates and wrecks), it is not recommended that you buy a used car seat. If you do not know for certain that the seat was never involved in a wreck, and/or you do not know the car seat's expiration date, then do NOT buy it. I know it's tempting because car seats are not cheap, but it's not worth it if the seat could jeopardize your baby's safety. 
If you truly cannot afford a new car seat, call your local health department. Many of them have a program where you can receive a free car seat for your child. 


Three children survived this wreck because their car seats were being used properly! Car seat safety IS IMPORTANT!





References:
http://safetysquad.typepad.com/safety_squad/2007/08/why-do-car-seat.html
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/childps/childrestraints/reuse/restraintreuse.htm

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