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How Long Are Infant Car Seats Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 years

The safest approach to safeguard your children in a car is to use an infant car seat, often known as a child safety seat. One of the biggest causes of mortality and injury among youngsters is car accidents. Car seats are required in every country because they save lives.

Choosing the appropriate safety seat and using it correctly is critical to keeping your child safe. The greatest car seat for your child is one that matches their weight, size, and age, as well as your vehicle.

Most parents choose to use infant seats for their children for the first year of their lives, and sometimes even up to the age of two. To pick up a newborn from the hospital, you need to use a baby car seat.

How Long Are Infant Car Seats Good For?

Types of booster seatsLasts for
Rear-facing car seats2 years and more
Convertible car seats9 months to 2 years

Each baby seat has a different lifespan. Infant car seats are typically good for around six years, or until your youngster is no longer in need of a car seat. When it comes to calculating how long your child will need a car seat, height and weight are more essential factors to consider.

Rear-facing and convertible car seats are the two primary types of infant seats. Infants should use rear-facing seats until they are big enough to sit forward-facing, which depends on their weight and height. Depending on the model, it protects kids from birth until they weigh up to 16 kilograms.

Convertible car seats are meant for older toddlers, and they typically extend until the kid is too big for a booster seat, depending on the child’s weight and height. It may be used in the automobile to face either backward or forwards. Depending on the model, from birth to at least 18 kilograms, 30 kilograms looking backward or 36 kilograms looking forward may be possible.

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Every car seat comes with a white label from the manufacturer. Since the service life depends on the manufacturer, each car seat has a unique expiration date on the white label and manual. Both are followed by the phrase “Do not use this kid restraint” and will allude to a two-year or six-year useful life.

Car seats for infants have an expiration date as well. During its service life, car seats have gone through a lot. The seat gets less safe after your child has sat in it hundreds of times. It is recommended not to use a car seat past its expiration date since it puts a child in danger of serious injury or even death in the event of an accident.

Manufacturers specify an expiration date or usable life because:

  • Parts that have gone missing – Make sure your car seats still have all of their pieces by inspecting them.
  • Car Seats Sit in Hot and Cold Cars – Parts Visibly Damaged. The heat can cause metals, plastics, and fibers to melt or fray, components to shatter or crack, and anchor points to fail.
  • Rust: Your automobile seat has metal components all over it. Those metal elements might rust if they are not properly cleaned and maintained. This is a health and safety issue for your child, as well as a worry for the integrity of those items.

Why Infant Car Seats Are Good For So Long?

Infant car seats can stay in good condition for a long time because they are made of polypropylene. It will sustain impact but not break in the event of an accident. All infant seats include a five-point harness and a newborn insert that may be used from birth to between 11 and 15 pounds. There are many reclining positions available in most baby chairs. Try to acquire as much of a reclined angle as possible for babies.

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Children’s car seats should not be used after their expiration date or usable life has passed. You may then reuse it around the house or donate it to a local CPST for training and demonstration reasons. The car seat should be permanently eliminated after this date, rather than donated to a charity, sold secondhand, or given to friends or family.

Conclusion

Infant seats are simple to use but don’t leave your child in one for too long at home or daycare. Too much time in a car seat can restrict a baby’s mobility and stimulation, both of which are crucial for the development of sensory and motor abilities.

While infant seats may stay up to six years, it’s vital to replace them once they’ve outlived their usefulness to ensure your children’s safety. For extended periods, rear-facing car seats are safer. To keep your children safe, keep note of the expiration date on their safety seats and replace it as required.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/jpojournal/fulltext/2003/07000/car_seats,_infant_carriers,_and_swings__their_role.10.aspx
  2. https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/75/2/336/79293
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