Yes, you heard me right! When we are done with car seats and would like to declutter it from our homes, the obvious choice is to sell it, so other parents can get a good deal, while keeping their children safe.
I adore the preloved buy and sell market, because it’s so good for the environment, BUT car seats are tricky and I recommend parents be highly cautious. Ask lots of questions, when buying a preloved car seat.
Has this ever been in an accident – even a minor one?
Even minor accidents can dislodge important car seat parts, that aren’t immediately visible externally. Car seats that were present in any type of crash, no matter how minor, should never be used again.
How was it stored?
Car seats should be in climate-controlled storage – must not be humid or warm, and must have fresh air circulating regularly.
If your car seat has been stored in plastic or an enclose storage without enough dehumidifying tubs that are replaced regularly, then just like a shoe, it will expire faster than a car seat that was used regularly. The plastic will become brittle and no longer provide safety for our little ones.
Are all parts are complete and good working order?
Check for the manual online and compare to see if parts are complete. Better yet, when you view the car seat, print out and bring the manual so you can compare.
Is it a recalled model?
See list of recalls here
When is it expiring?
Expired plastic is brittle and can give a false sense of security. Average expiration is 6 years after MANUFACTURING DATE, not date of purchase.
HOW TO CHECK CAR SEAT EXPIRATION?
Simply google “(BRAND NAME) car seat + expiration” to get instructions. In the screenshot below I googled GRACO CAR SEAT EXPIRATION and I got so much information, from the brand itself and youtube videos. However some really high quality car seats are good up to 10 years. Do your research.
WHAT TO DO WITH EXPIRED CAR SEATS?
Recycle the car seat. Send it to recyclers like Tzu Chi Foundation. However to make it clear that it’s FOR RECYCLING, NOT REUSE this is what you should do:
- Cut the straps
- Remove any foam and padding from the shell
- Yhen write with permanent marker in big bold letters:
“THIS CAR SEAT IS NOT SAFE TO USE, IT’S EXPIRED. “
Never throw away or send for recycling an expired car seat whole, coz someone might pick it up and use it. It will give them the false sense of safety for their child when in reality expired car seats are brittle and will shatter into pieces upon impact.
For more complete instructions and answer you may have about preloved car seats and how to safely buy them, head over to THE CAR SEAT LADY. All this useful info is from her super informative website.
Please do share this post with other parents who are thinking of disposing of a car seat OR buying one-second hand. It could save a life!