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why do carseats expire?

I don’t have much money to buy baby stuff and I am having twins in a few weeks. a person have me a graco car seat and on the bottom of this car seat it says DO NOT USE AFTER DECEMBER 2009. Why do car seats expire. Can i get a ticket if i get pulled over and a cop happens to see that this car seat says this. I know the person that gave it to me and know that it has never been in a accident. So can i use this car seat or do I need to figure out a way to get a new one? I have been looking everywhere and used car seats are really not any cheaper then a new car seat.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 3:20 PM on May. 26, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (7)
  • Although plastic never biodegrades, it does break down enough that it can be dangerous in a crash. It can actually kind of explode, sending shards of plastic everywhere, including through your baby. I attended a workshop on car seat safety, and it scared the crap out of me when I saw a video about it! It's not a legal issue, just a safety issue. You should figure out a way to get one, but many health departments or police departments have programs to get car seats to families that need them. I'd check into that.
    apexmommy

    Answer by apexmommy at 3:22 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • I just learned about this the other day. Carseats expire because after so long, the integrity of the plastic/materials used become weak, worn out, or compromised in other ways. I.e. when plastic sits in the hot sun for long periods of time it changes shape, can even melt, and becomes weak. So after so many months, years or what have you, the plastic and other materials on a car seat can become SO affected that they are deemed unsafe to use anymore.
    Ash9724

    Answer by Ash9724 at 3:24 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • try freecycle.org.... look for a local chapter... you can get everything for free just ask...

    if you lived closer i ahve a boy carseat you could ahve...
    2cuteboysrmine

    Answer by 2cuteboysrmine at 3:50 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • dear god don't get a carseat on freecyle.org!!!!

    Take your carseat to the local firestation or health department and often they will switch them out for a seat that is not expired.

    As the ladies said before the plastic deteriorates and makes them unsafe...ever seen an old piece of tupperware shatter? How about plastic lawn chairs or outside toys?

    Heres a video of a crash test with an expired carseat
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvCRz7BRAM0

    ALSO heres a link to some places that give away free seats
    http://www.kyledavidmiller.org/pages/3007/Apply_for_Help.htm
    and
    http://www.usa.safekids.org/tier2_rl.cfm?folder_id=182
    the last link will take you to a place to search for places near you that give away seats to those in need...
    tabi_cat1023

    Answer by tabi_cat1023 at 3:59 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • Do everything in your power not to use a used seat! Not only does the plastic degrade, the straps weaken as well. You also have no way of knowing the true history of a used seat. If it has been in ANY accident (even a simple fender bender) it's supposed to be discarded and not used. It is no longer safe.

    Since used seats aren't any cheaper than used ones around you..get a new one.

    As for getting a ticket...no. But the result could be much worse if you're in an accident.
    TiccledBlue

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 4:11 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • They expire because the plastic starts to get brittle and the straps start to break down. In an accident the car seat could break if it is older than 6 years from when it was made.
    Don't but a used seat either... you never know how it was treated, if it were in a crash, if they mistreated the straps by washing them (which ruins them)
    AmiJanell

    Answer by AmiJanell at 4:47 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • I have no idea why they expire, (I have a better understanding now after reading the other answers to your question) but I thought I would answer this and let you know that you can find quality carseats for not a huge price! I just bought three new ones and spent 100 bucks!!! How??? K-Mart had a buy one get one half price, shop around, you'll be okay!
    my5monsters

    Answer by my5monsters at 6:55 PM on May. 26, 2009

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