I’ve been learning a lot about car seats lately. You may say, “What is there to learn? A car seat is a car seat, right?” I didn’t pay much attention before, either. I mean, I knew ours weren’t pretty or expensive, but the kids were buckled. Isn’t that the main thing?
I began the research earlier this year when my sister told me that car seats expire in 6 years. She just had a new baby so she’s up on all that new mommy info. I, on the other hand, haven’t read stuff like that in years. You read it with your first child, maybe hear it in the mommy circles to remind you with the second child, and by the third think you’ve got it all under control. So I’m thinking, “Car seats expire? Sounds like a ploy to get people to buy new ones. Think of all the landfill waste. Our seats are just fine.” Understand, I wash & re-use plastic bags, cut up stained clothing for rags, sew cloth napkins, and compost. My dad would attribute this to the Dutch heritage on my mother’s side. Maybe, but I also like to conserve. I think we live in a wasteful society and I like to do what I can around here.
While researching the whole expiration thing, I found that my girls had been promoted to booster seats YEARS too early. I am sad to say that I didn’t put enough thought into the car seat situation. I just figured after they were too big for the 40 pound harness it was automatically the next thing. Or something like that. I NEVER gave it a second thought, looked up models, recalls, or even considered a better way. Thankfully, God protected our children, despite my naivete. Our children have never been in a car accident.
I’m here to tell you there is a better way. Don’t put your babies in old seats just because it was free or inexpensive, or even because you trust the person it came from and they said it has never been in an accident. (I did know about not using a seat that had been in an accident.) I’ve even given my old car seats to people. Remember, I don’t like to waste things.
Here are some links on car seats and why it is worth it to update. If you read this stuff you will see that the 6 year date is a guideline, but it isn’t like your seat will suddenly explode if used longer. There is some leeway, maybe even up to the 10th year, but why push the limit?
This is the video people talk about with the straps letting lose when the shell breaks:
same site, more articles:
The comments at the end of this article bring up some controversy:
An article allowing for more like 10 years:
Next time I’ll talk about keeping your kids in a 5 point harness as long as possible….