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How Long Are Booster Seats Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 to 10 days

Booster seats are car seats that protect children’s safety. Before wearing the booster seat belt correctly, all children whose weight or height exceeds the maximum value of their forward-facing car seat should use the seat belt to position the booster seat.

Booster seats can raise children, so seat belts are positioned over the strong bones of the chest and pelvis, rather than the abdomen and neck, where they can cause catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision. Most children before the age of 10 to 12 cannot wear a seat belt without a booster.

How Long Are Booster Seats Good For?

Types of booster seatsLasts for
Backless booster seats10 years
High back booster seats8 -10 years

The longevity of each booster seat varies. Booster seats are typically good for 6 to 10 years from the date of manufacturing, depending on the brand and type. Expiration dates are set by manufacturers based on how long they expect their chairs to perform safely as intended.

Booster seats come in two basic styles: high-back and backless. They don’t come with a harness, but they ride in your car with lap and shoulder seat belts, just like an adult. They’re made to lift a youngster so that the lap and shoulder seat belts can correctly fit over the child’s strongest body parts.

The date of production will be put on a sticker someplace on the booster seat or stamped into the seat itself, as well as on the registration card that came with the seat. The usable lifespan of a booster seat is frequently indicated in the handbook as well. Some seats have an expiry date imprinted on the plastic shell, followed by the words “DO NOT USE AFTER” and a date.

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Booster seats are also subject to expiration. Although an out-of-date booster seat won’t smell or develop mildew, they will become less safe with time, placing a kid at risk for serious damage or even death in the case of an accident, because:

  • The plastic begins to degrade – Extremely hot or cold conditions can cause the plastic shell of a seat to become brittle. As a result, the shell may become brittle or unstable.
  • The seat is prone to wear and tear – metal elements may rust over time, and synthetic textiles on the seat or straps may begin to fray, making the seat less safe.
  • New components for seats are no longer available – If your seat is old and no longer manufactured by the manufacturer, finding replacement parts might be difficult to impossible.
  • Technology develops – Child passenger safety is an area that is always changing and improving. Manufacturers of car seats are always striving to create seats that provide even more protection. Older versions may also fail to meet modern government safety regulations.

Immediately stop using the expired seat. After that, you may either repurpose it around the home, donate it to a nearby CPST for training and demonstration purposes, or simply discard it. A used seat should be disposed of in such a way that it will not be re-used. The simplest method is to remove the seat’s fabric, foam padding, and harness straps, write on them using a sharpie, and store them in a black disposal bag before transporting them to be recycled.

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Why Booster Seats Are Good For So Long?

Booster seats can stay in good condition for a long time because they are made of polypropylene. Polypropylene is a durable material that will bend under pressure. If an accident occurs, it can withstand impact but will not break. If the material is no longer strong enough, your booster seat should be discarded. To improve durability and functionality, foam pads, covers, straps, buckles, and tags are used.

Most booster seats do not use seat belts, anchors, or tethers to connect to the vehicle seat; instead, they are just placed on the car seat and remain in place after the child wears the seat belt. Using lower anchors and tethers, as well as waist belts and shoulder straps, multiple versions of booster seats can be connected to the vehicle seat and secured in place.

Conclusion

While Booster seats may last anywhere from six to ten years, it’s critical to replace them after they’ve reached the end of their useful life to protect your children’s safety. Keep track of the expiration date on your child’s safety seat and replace it as needed to keep your children safe.

References

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/196677
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1281.short