Expired Car Seats - Topeka,KS

Updated on October 02, 2012
T.H. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
9 answers

What can I do with expired car seats other than throw them away?

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answers from Dallas on

I clipped the straps and donated ours to a pregnancy center, so a family could turn it in at Toys R Us during one of their specials. You can turn in an old car seat for 25% off a new one. The pregnancy center sent me a letter saying they gave it to a family who didn't quite qualify for a free one and needed the discount.

Our second expired car seat, I did the same thing, but I gave it to a friend this time. Clipping the straps makes it where no one else can use it. I didn't want someone to try to use them (they were expired and had been stored in the attic in Texas heat for a few years).

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Cut the straps so that the seat can't be used again. Write on it in big black permanent marker that it's expired and can't be used. See if you can get a discount in an exchange for a new one. If not then you need to throw it away.

It's not a waste if they're thrown out. They literally MUST NOT be used.

To KiKi...

How Car Seats Expire per the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):
*Technology Improves and Standards Change. A good example of this is that back in 2002 car seats were not even equipped with Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Now however, they are a standard feature in nearly all car seats. Car seat expiration dates ensure that seats being used are current and up to snuff.
*Materials Wear Down. Car seats were not made to last forever. Over time the seat base can develop hairline fractures which may shatter in a crash (Should you replace your car seat?), and belts can become slightly elastic after years of use. Crash test videos provide a chilling example of how these materials can fail in a devastating manner.
*Only Tested for a Certain Period. After a certain amount of time, manufacturers do not test seats. They cannot attest to how older seats will perform in an accident.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Check for the little recycle logo; even if it's not there I would still put it in for recycle then it's on their conscience; not mine!! lol!! That's what I did with an old one. I couldn't bear to just put it in the garbage; I'm just weird that way!! lol!!

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I was told to cut the straps, remove the cover and write EXPIRED DO NOT USE on the base. When my DD's first seat was in an accident, I gave it to the insurance adjuster and took the cover. They removed the straps and disposed of it.

You can use it as a trade in, but please do not pass it along to someone else. Many Freecycle lists and charities will not accept an expired car seat for good reason. People can get a car seat for $40 at WalMart if they don't mind fewer bells and whistles.




answers from Kansas City on

I like the idea of using it for the 25% off Babies R Us exchange. If you don't need anything, find someone who might. I would not use it after the expiration date. I don't think Thrift Stores accept car seats at all---because they can't verify if they've ever been in a crash.



answers from Los Angeles on

Keep using them. The "expiration date" was put on them by the manufacturer and helps them make more money by the unsuspecting buying more child safety seats.

If you know someone that was fooled by the manufacturer and bought new child safety seats because of the dates the manufacturer put on them, tell them to donate the seats to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or put them on the free section of Craig's list. You could be helping a family too poor to shell out BIG bucks for the seats.

Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Phoenix on

I'm still trying to figure out how foam, plastic, metal, and fabric can expire...

Shouldn't our cars expire then, too? Bikes? Toys?



answers from San Francisco on

Cut the harness straps and then call your local car seat inspector and ask where you can dispose.



answers from Albuquerque on

I heard that you can also disfigure them and damage them beyond repair with a sledgehammer so that people won't try to use them. I still have one that needs to be dealt with, I figure it will be a good stress reliever at some point!

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