Children’s Car Seats Have Expiration Dates 

Children’s Car Seats Have Expiration Dates 

Children’s car seats are complicated. Their mechanisms can get clogged by a errant chip; they’re hard to fit in the back seat; they don’t work well with loose clothing. And after six to ten years, they expire.

The expiration dates printed on most child safety seats might feel like a trick to keep you from saving money on a hand-me-down. But while these dates aren’t legally enforced, they’re there for a good reason.

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Parts can deteriorate or break, including the plastic shell, which can degrade from years of sun exposure. Car designs and safety regulations can change over the years as well.

It might feel frustrating that a car seat can’t last longer. But consider that this device has to do an extraordinary job: keep kids safe at 97km an hour in a metal box designed for adults. When you look at it that way, it’s impressive they work at all.

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