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Has you child's car seat expired?

 
Did you know that kids’ car seats expire after 5 – 12 years from the date of manufacture? Once a seat expires, or has been in an accident of any scale, the life span becomes zero. The car seat then needs to be disposed of safely, to prevent other people from using the seat again.
Did you know that kids’ car seats expire after 5 - 12 years from the date of manufacture?

Once a seat expires, or has been in an accident of any scale, the life span becomes zero.

The car seat then needs to be disposed of safely, to prevent other people from using the seat again.
 

Has you child's car seat expired?

 

The life span of a car seat


The life span of car seats (including capsules, convertibles and booster seats) does not depend on how well the seat is looked after, how many children have used it or even how often it has been used.

Instead, you will need to look for the embossed stamp on the seat or under the seat which tells you when the seat expires or when the seat was manufactured.

Child restraints are designed as a life-saving device so once a seat expires or has been in an accident of any scale, the life span becomes zero. The car seat then needs to be disposed of safely, to prevent other children from using the seat again.

Also over time seats fitted into cars, stored in sheds or those which have aged at least 6 years, may have some degradation that weakens the structure of the car seat that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

If the seat is then used and an accident occurs, the seat may not be able to adequately protect your child.
 

Second-hand car seats


There’s often confusion around whether it’s safe or not to use second-hand car seats.

The answer is not that a second-hand seat cannot be used, more that the buyer needs to take extra caution when purchasing a second-hand car seat and try to find out as much as possible about its history.

It's important that you either know the history of the seat, or trust the person you purchase the seat from.

A seat that has been involved in an accident may not show signs of damage.

It is also important that the car seat meets current car seat safety standards.

 

When to dispose of your car seat


If your car seat has expired, has been in an accident or showing obvious signs of wear and tear it will need to be disposed of to prevent anyone from using it again.

If your seat shows any of the following signs, do not use the seat and immediately take it for disposal:
 
  • A broken seat shell anywhere on the seat.
 
  • Torn or fraying harness webbing anywhere on the seat.
 
  • Glass shards on the seat, under the cover and in small gaps.
 
  • Stress marks anywhere on the seat shell.
 

Where to dispose of your car seat

 
  • SeatSmart offers a car seat recycling programme with collection sites at some Plunket and Baby on the Move stores in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Nelson and Christchurch, as well as at the Henderson Rd Transfer Station in Hastings.
 
  • SeatSmart accepts any brand of booster, convertible seat or capsule.
 
  • Check with your local Plunket car seat rental scheme to see if they offer child restraint disposal in your area. There may be a small fee for this service.
 
  • See if your town/city offers an inorganic dry collection where you can dispose of your car seat.

Otherwise NZ Child Restraints suggests putting the seat into your general waste collection after you have:
 
  • Removed the cover.
 
  • Cut the harness.
 
  • Destroyed the plastic shell completely with a sledge hammer or similar.
 
  • Written over the seat "Not safe for use in a vehicle".
 

More kids travel articles to enjoy:

Source: NZ Child Restraints

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