During the launch of the Children’s Heath and Safety Campaign this winter, by the Government of Canada, I learned that car seats have expiry dates. Being that our infant car seat was purchased roughly 5 years ago, it was important to investigate its safety (along with the safety of all the other car seats in our household). Our priority was to save money by continuing to use our old car seats, provided they were still safe. So, my initial question remains: How do you know if your car seat has expired?
Only our newest car seat had the expiration date inscribed on the back of the seat. The older car seats had no information that indicated when they would expire. Thus, I called the number on the car seat stickers. Two quick phone calls later, I had learned a couple useful things:
1. All car seats expire 6 years after the date of manufacture (that should be easy to find on the car seat sticker, it’s listed by the model number).
2. Calling the toll-free number on the sticker is a great idea if you need any information about your car seat. The people on the phone simply needed the model number and manufacture date of the car seat and were easily able to update me on the car seat expiry date and whether or not there had been any recall. Each phone call took less than 5 minutes.
Remember that the Children’s Health and Safety website is also a valuable source of information. When clicking over there while writing this post, I noticed that the topic this week is “Why Car Seats Matter“. Here’s a great article and checklist to ensure the safety of any car restraints you might own.
After my investigation, I discovered all of my car seats were still up-to-date with no recalls either. Two expire next year though! I was delighted to save money by simply buying KC a booster seat (he was ready and it would have needed to be purchased anyway), MC was moved into KC’s forward-facing seat (we keep our kids rear-facing until age two -it’s much safer), and Baby Girl will inherit the infant car seat used by both KC and MC, then move to MC’s old (larger) rear-facing seat once she’s outgrown that.