Yes car seat expires after approximately 5-6 years. You can check the side of seat to see if it is expired, there should be a date on the side. Also, if your car seat has been involved in a wreck of any kind it also needs to be disposed of and replaced.
You want to make sure that no one else tries to use your expired car seat or broken car seat. You need to dispose of it properly. Here is what you need to do.
- Take the harness out of the car seat and cut them into pieces. This insures that they are totally unusable and no one will try to put them back in the seat.
- Take the padding off of the seat and dispose of it separately.
- Write “no good” or “unusable” on the seat in black marker so it is clear that the seat can not be used.
- Put the seat in a black plastic bag so that no one is tempted to try to pick it off the curb and use the car seat as their own.
- If your area has a program for recycling old car seats you can take it to your recycling center and recycle the plastic.
I did this with an old infant car seat we had. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t used again by a child and put their life at risk with an old car seat. I never knew that they expired and probably was using an expired car seat. Be sure if you use your car seat for 5 or more years to dispose of it properly and don’t use it again even though it is very tempting after all the money you put into it!
Recently I just did this with an expired convertible car seat my 5 year old out grew. I didn’t write on the seat but I did make sure to put it in a plastic bag and make sure all the pieces were off of it and put in separate bags.
Have you disposed of your car seats correctly?
Click HERE to view car seat laws by state.
Can you reuse a car seat? Click HERE to find out.