15 answers

Expired Car Seats

I have an expired car seat and not sure what to do with it. I know it can't be used anymore, but I just hate to throw it out. Does anyone know of places that could use them for some other purpose?

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I think I must have called every agency around (WIC, Safe Kids, the local hospitals, fire departments and police departments), but no one needed the car seat for an educational device. I even called our local recylcing plant, but they would not recycle it. It looks like my only option is to throw it away. I know someone mentioned cutting the straps and all before throwing out, so I will go online to see if there is anything else I need to do to properly throw it away. Maybe one day we will be able to recycle these car seats so they don't end up in a landfill somewhere..... Thank you so much for all of your advice and responses!! I appreciate it greatly :)

Featured Answers

I'm glad you asked this question. Now I too know that I should throw away the car seats I have saved for years "just in case" we would need them later. Thanks!

More Answers

It seems as if all us Moms need to get together and host a recycling day!!!

A recent event that I missed is in this article:

This article (about the same event):

States the following:
"Those who are unable to attend can drop the seats off at Marty's Reliable Cycle on Speedwell Avenue and the Shade Tree garage on Washington Street."

I am going to make some phone calls to see if these two facilities are still accepting used car seats.

There is also some more info (about the above event) as well as how, when and why a carseat should be taken out of services on this article:

Be careful about tossing out carseats or selling them at garage sales. I am having trouble with my own father (aka Pop-Pop) who has brought home two used carseats and does not understand why we will not let our 2-year old daughter and soon-to-be born child use them. He has no crash history on either of the pieces he now has and I need to get my hands on them to see if they are expired.

If you have to toss them, please dismantle it! Cut the straps. Remove the cover and foam. Take a hammer to the shell. If your township won't take the whole shell, maybe they will take small pieces. Either way, no one will be tempted to scoop up that out-dated piece of equipment.


1 mom found this helpful

I'm glad you asked this question. Now I too know that I should throw away the car seats I have saved for years "just in case" we would need them later. Thanks!

i would suggest offering it to this list serve and asking that if anyone is interested they could pick it up. or donate it to a good will store.

in these hard times, we are grateful for everything!


I have an expired seat we use as a baby seat in the house. Also I have seen the suggestion to use a toddler seat for time outs if your toddler fights and tantrums when given time out. They are safe and restrained comfortably until they are old enough to get the idea of how time out works.

I think that a friend who had gotten several hand me down seats had them recylced but I dn't know what agency they contacted.

Try contacting your local hospitals and see if they would like it for the less fortunate patients families.

I have to say I have never heard of a car seat expiring and I think the manufacturers do it just to make a profit off of us. I have an infant car seat that I used for all 5 of my children and their is 16 years between my oldest and youngest. I did buy a new full sized one when my 4th child was too big for the infant one but that was because my other car seat did not fit properly in my car and that car seat I am keeping for when one of my older kids have a child/children of their own.


Hi J.,
I didn't read all of the responses in detail so don't know if someone mentioned this... contact your local car seat safety program. They may take old seats to use for training purposes. If a seat is expired but is still on the market, they can use your old seat to teach new techs. how to install. It isn't safe to put a child in for driving but it might be just fine for learning purposes.

How do you know that it is expired?
I have two (infant and toddler) that I tried to bring to the Salvation Army two weeks ago and they turned me away! The infant car seat is from July 2000 when my son was born, and the other is probably from 2003. If you know of somewhere to donate these, please let me know...I would hate to just throw them out!

Great question! After reading your responses I have one comment. It's amazing that car seat manufacturers can put a "best before date" on some car seats while other seats are good from 30 to 100 pounds! Go figure?! (Might it have something to do with their knowledge that we want the best and safest for our children, and that we are prepared to pay for it too!?)

I didn't read the replies, so I don't know if this has been mentioned....make sure you CUT the straps when you throw it away. It's not safe anymore and you don't want someone to take it out of the trash or recycle center and try to use it.

DO NOT donate them - they are not safe enough to use anymore. I'd call your local recycling center to see if they'll accept it or if they have any ideas of what to do with it. Worst case scenario, just throw it out - which is not as bad, actually, as giving it to a child who ends up getting hurt by it.

Please do not donate expired carseats. If it is unsafe for your child, then it is unsafe for EVERY child. I read online that you should cut the straps so that nobody tries to use it before getting rid of it. I believe there are certain places that will take them for recycling purposes. Maybe do a search in your area.

Hii ,
Checkout this website : www.freecycle.org you can list your offer here. Its a website where its members exchange free items online . I'm not sure about the car seat though .My town had notices everywhere for not accepting the car seat . I put mine out for recycle(2004 make).

check with your police dept.

The car seats expire due to the type of plastic used to make them. All chemical plastics break down over time but the hard kind used in car seats breaks down even more quickly than the soft, flexible kind. It becomes brittle and more likely to crack and break when it is exposed to sunlight and regular use. The manufacturers really need to find a solution to this problem. I say that we should ship them back to the manufacturer or ask if they have a recycling program. Please do not try to give these expired car seats to "less fortunate" kids they will be even less fortunate if they are using an expired seat that fails to protect them in a car crash!!!

I've heard that Goodwill and Salvation Army can no longer accept any type of infant supplies due to recalls, injuries and liability. I'll check back to see if there are any good ideas about how to deal with these enormous pieces of plastic - with an expiration date stamped into the bottom. I sold my twin infant seats on eBay long before their date, but I will have 2 cnvertables that will become un-sellable... Good luck - to all of us! :)

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