It is a common thing among parents to want to know whether a car seat expires or not. Different brands of kid’s car seats have different policies in terms of car seat expiration.
Does a Britax car seat expire? Why do car seats expire? How do I know if a car seat is expired? What should I do with an expired car seat? These are some of the questions parents seek answers to.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know on whether Britax car seats expire or not. You will also see if there are any consequences of using an expired car seat.
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Do Britax Car Seats Expire?
Just like every other car seat, Britax car seats are designed to be used for a certain period. Typically, a Britax car seat has a service life of between six and 10 years from the date of manufacture of the seat.
The emphasis here is From the Date of Manufacture and not from the date of purchase. For example, if a car seat was manufactured in 2016 and you bought it in 2018, the service life starts counting from 2016 and not 2018.
Britax has different types of car seats for children – from infant car seats to booster seats. You should endeavor to read the instruction manual and the serial label on your car seat.
Recommended: Are Britax car seats any good? (Explained)
Why Do Car Seats Have Expiry Dates?
The major reason car seats expire is that over time, materials used in manufacturing the seats degrade. Degradation could occur due to extreme temperatures, thus, leading to wear and tear of car seats.
Also, virtually all the car seat brands – be it Britax, Graco, etc., test their car seats for a specific number of years to ensure that the seats are safe throughout those years. After those years, the brands can’t guarantee the safety of a car seat.
There have been cases where products were recalled due to quality or safety concerns. If that happens to a car seat, it means that the car seat is no longer safe for use. That’s why you need to register your car seat after purchase so that the manufacturer can contact you in case of any recall.
Finally, a car seat can be said to have expired if it no longer meets evolving government regulations. There are regulations set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If a car seat fails to meet the safety requirements, the car seat is declared obsolete.
How To Know If Your Britax Car Seat Is Expired
Britax has different types of car seats – infant car seats, convertible car seats, harness-2-booster, and belt-positioning booster seats. These categories of car seats have different expiry dates.
To give you a clear picture of Britax car seats and their expiry dates, the guideline below will help.
Britax Car Seats Manufactured Before June 2010
If you own a Britax car seat (infant car seat, child car seat, youth seat, or belt-positioning booster seat) manufactured before June 2010, it usually has a service life of 6 years from the date of manufacture.
Frontier Harness-2-Booter seats manufactured between 2008 and 2010 are useful for 9 years from the date of manufacture.
Britax Car Seats Manufactured June 2010 and Beyond
- For Britax infant car seats, they have a useful life of 6 years from the date of manufacture
- Britax convertible car seats have a useful life of 7 years from the date of manufacture
- ClickTight convertible car seats have a useful life of 10 years from the date of manufacture
- Harness-2-booster seats can serve for 9 years after manufacture
- Belt-positioning booster seats have a useful life of 6 years
You might want to read this: Are Britax car seats compatible with other strollers?
Is It Safe To Use An Expired Britax Car Seat?
It is not safe to use an expired car seat (whether Britax or any other brand) because an obsolete car seat could cause injury or other damage. It is best to retire a car seat once it reaches its useful number of years.
Most car seats contain flame retardants. After several years of usage and being exposed to extreme temperatures, car seats wear and tear, thereby releasing some of these harmful chemicals.
You should always check the serial label of your child’s restraint or booster seat to know its expiry date.
Note: In case you are buying a second-hand car seat that still has some useful service years, you want to be sure it has not been involved in a moderate or severe crash.
What Should I Do With An Expired Car Seat?
An expired car seat has no use and should be properly disposed of to prevent anyone from using it. There are three simple steps to get rid of an expired car seat:
- Cut off all the webbing and cut up the cover. This is to discourage anyone from ever thinking of using it.
- Remove the date of manufacture and the serial number
- Write something like “No Longer Safe To Use, or Expired” on the car seat before thrashing it for pickup
Do Car Seat Bases Expire?
Car seat bases expire just the same way car seats expire. The service life for car seat bases is the same as that of car seats. Typically, a car seat base should be useful for between 6 and 10 years.
Ensure that you check the date of manufacture and the duration of the service life of a car seat base to know when to ditch it.
While it could be tempting to continue using a car seat base after expiration, it is always recommended to stick with the specifications set out by the manufacturer. Doing so would remove any safety concerns related to a faulty or expired product.
Always read through the instruction manual to get every detail about the car seat base.
How Long Are Booster Seats Good For?
Depending on the brand of booster seat you have, a booster seat is good for between 6 to 10 years. While you can use some brands of booster seats for just 6 years, others can be useful for up to 10 years.
For example, Britax harness-2-booster seats have a service life of 9 years from the date of manufacture. On the other hand, Britax belt-positioning booster seats have a service life of 6 years from the date of manufacture.
The dates are different for different types of booster seats, you need just have to check the serial label to get the actual information.