Are you unsure what to do with your child’s old car seat after spring cleaning? There are many different routes you can take, as it turns out.
A lot depends on the seat’s condition and expiration date when deciding what you can do with it. As you read through this article, you will learn everything you need to know and more.
You no longer need to worry about storing your child’s old car seat in your home, because we have you covered.
Has it expired?
Unless the car seat is in good condition, it should not be used with a child in it if it is expired. As a result of wear and tear over time, its components will break down, making it unsafe for use. A car seat expiration date provides an indication of the seat’s life expectancy.
Generally, you can find the expiration date on the back of a car seat or on its bottom if you flip it over. Expiration dates are usually printed on stickers or engraved into plastic. You might find it in the instruction manuals of other manufacturers.
Read Also: Best Infant Car Seats
Is it possible to reuse car seats?
It’s possible to reuse a seat in some cases. Because you can’t be 100 percent sure of the quality, we don’t recommend reselling or buying used car seats. Then again, if you’re using it for your own family, you might be fine.
Do old car seats have a chance of being reused?
There’s no expiration date on a car seat; it’s still good until the manufacturer specifies. In order to replace it on time, we recommend you don’t use the item for at least a month after the date of purchase.
A car seat’s integrity is not destroyed by minor accidents: Minor accidents do not necessarily cause a car seat’s integrity to be destroyed. It is recommended to replace the seat immediately if it has been involved in a moderate to severe crash. If your car seat is damaged in any way, even if it was only a minor crash, some manufacturers require that you replace the seat.
Ensure that the car seat is clean: Naturally, you don’t want your second child to sit in a dirty car seat. Give the seat a good scrub before reusing it. Follow the instructions in the manual for cleaning your car seat. If it has been stored away for some time, this is especially important.
Make sure there are no broken pieces or other signs of wear and tear. To fully inspect the seat, make sure you peek under the fabric cover. Seats can become unusable even if they have the tiniest nick.
The use of a secondhand car seat should be handled with extra care. Before using the seat, inspect it thoroughly to make sure it’s not damaged. As well as registering the seat, be sure to check for recalls.
If it can’t be recycled, what to do?
If reusing a seat is not possible or recycling isn’t feasible, it can be disposed of. It may be unsafe to use a car seat that has been pulled out of a dumpster or trash can, so you will need to ensure it can’t be used.
If you’re going to dismantle the car seat, you should try to get it to the point where a baby or child can’t ride in it. Try removing the seat cover, removing the straps, or smashing the seat shell with a hammer or mallet (it could be fun!). If the seat shouldn’t be used, write “DO NOT USE,” “EXPIRED” or something along those lines with a permanent marker.
Even though it seems extreme, it’s worth it to prevent a baby or toddler from being in an unsafe seat.
Used Car Seats: How to get rid of them?
A car seat that is expired or that has been in a moderate to severe crash can still be used.
1. A trade-in event
Car seat trade-in events are usually held at some big-box stores throughout the year. There might be other stores that do this, but Target appears to be the only one.
You can trade in your old or unused car seat for a coupon by attending these trade-in events. When you trade in your old car seat, stroller, or other baby gear, Target will give you 20 percent off a new one. As result of this program, it has gained a great deal of popularity since it was introduced in 2016.
Target recycles all used car seats and turns them into products like pallets, buckets, and construction materials.
Our recommendation is to attend trade-in events since they are the most convenient option. As a bonus, you get a good deal on an upgrade for your child when you get rid of your old car seat.
2. It can be donated
Car seats in excellent condition are rarely accepted at most places, even if they are used. There are, however, some organizations that may accept them. Ensure they know what they’re getting by being upfront about the seat’s condition. Safety should never be compromised.
Several organizations provide resources to families in need, such as women’s shelters or local charities. It is common for foster families to lack necessities like car seats.
There is always a need for help from church organizations. There are some ministries that donate car seats to needy families. You may also want to consider this option, especially if you are religious.
Car seats are installed by local car seat safety technicians who have been trained in the installation of car seats and their safety of them. Parents are taught the ropes by them. Check with a CPST to see if they want your old seat for demonstrations.
3. Protocols for proper recycling
It is possible to recycle the old car seat yourself rather than throw it in the trash. To find out if you can recycle plastic from old car seats, contact your local recycling center. The following steps should be taken if they do:
Your local recycling center might accept car seats if you ask them how they prefer to receive them. Here is a list of car seat acceptance centers.
Consult the recycling center’s guidelines on recycling car seats. Others may want the frame broken down first, while others may just want the naked frame.
Remove any extras from the car seat, including fabric, padding, and straps. The harness straps should also be cut out of the seat by using scissors. It’s probably not going to be possible to recycle these parts, so they can be disposed of in the trash.
The first thing you need to do is remove all metal pieces. You will probably need a screwdriver for this. To ensure the car seat is metal-free, remove as much metal as you can. Recycling centers will only require you to do this if they require it. Depending on the center, this part may be handled by them.
4. The proper way to dispose of trash
The seat can be thrown away with the trash if it cannot be recycled, donated, or traded in. To do so, however, you must follow a few guidelines. The guidelines are similar to those for recycling and are there to ensure the waste can be disposed of efficiently:
- Foam and padding should be removed.
- Straps should be cut off.
- The seat should be stripped of all metal pieces.
- The seat should be marked. The bare plastic seat should be clearly marked “UNSAFE” or “EXPIRED” so that it cannot be reused. Your garbage can then be thrown out with the rest.
Safety & Car Seats: What do you need to know?
Avoid compromising your child’s safety by saying goodbye to old and expired car seats. In addition to disposing of one in the trash, there are other sustainable ways to do it.
Give Taxi Baby a call if you have any questions about child passenger safety or if you’re looking for a new car seat for your child! You can ask any questions you may have to our car seat experts and technicians during every ride to ensure your child is safe and secure.