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What To Do With An Expired Car seat
Traveling with kids

What to do with an expired car seat?

The first thing you need to do is determine if your car seat has expired. The expiration date for a car seat is 10 years from the date of manufacture or assembly, whichever comes first. You can find this information on the label that’s attached to the backseat of your current car seat. If it hasn’t expired, then congratulations! You’re in luck- there are many organizations and charities that will come and pick up your used car seats so they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how you should store, dispose of, and recycle an expired car seat…

What To Do With An Expired Car seat?

When a car seat expires, it is no longer safe to use. Make sure you are disposing of the expired product correctly by taking the following steps:

>> Find out what local laws or regulations require when dealing with old or used products containing chemicals (like lead). In many cases, these will dictate disposal methods and/or locations.

>> Follow the instructions from your car seat’s manufacturer. They might advise you to dispose of it at a recycling facility, or they may ask that you recycle it yourself via a specific method. If this is not possible (e.g., if the product has been thrown away), try to break down and remove as many components as possible and recycle them individually.

>> If the car seat must be discarded, make sure that it cannot be reused by someone else or in an unsanctioned manner (e.g., reselling). It may also contain sensitive information like a vehicle identification number (VIN) or child safety seat ID numbers, which should not fall into other hands.

>> If the car seat is being thrown away, follow legal disposal guidelines for your area and make sure it cannot be salvaged by anyone else. This may include cutting or tearing out parts where sensitive information can be found (like a VIN), removing any batteries, and so on.

>> If the car seat is being recycled, ensure that it will be treated with respect. For instance, try to find out if they intend to separate components before recycling or shredding them and whether workers are properly trained for this type of activity. This might involve using tools like a screwdriver or pliers in order to remove certain parts (like latches) or a special cutting tool in order to remove plastic components.

>> If the car seat is being used, consider sending it back once its use has come to an end. Some manufacturers may offer recycling programs for this purpose; otherwise you can contact local charities and give them your old product (if they accept these kinds of items).

>> If the car seat is being resold, make sure it has been inspected by a certified child safety technician and that any problems have been fixed before doing so. This may include repairing latches or replacing parts with damaged ones—the same way you would treat an older model of your own vehicle.

>> If the car seat is being donated, ensure that it goes to a family in need and does not wind up on the black market for child safety products. For instance, you might choose to donate it at your local police station or fire department instead of giving it directly to another person (who could sell it).

Where To Donate Car Seats?

It is always better to donate car seats than throw them away. If your child outgrew the seat and you are unable to sell it, there are several organizations that will give you a tax deduction for donating a used car seat. These include:

>> The Healthy Child organization – which provides free resources on parenting, safety, childcare and more!

>>Any local police or fire department in your area.

>>Your county’s waste management service, which will dispose of the seat for you at a recycling plant.

>>Keep A Breast Foundation, which recycles the plastic in car seats into materials for breast cancer awareness products. For your convenience and ease of use we have provided a list of organizations that will pick up used car seats from you: 

>>Your local police or fire department.

>>Any local recycling center.

>>Local organizations that provide car seat safety education, such as Safe Kids Worldwide.

>>Donating your car seats is easy and saves them from ending up in a landfill.

When you donate the seat, be sure to remove any old straps or padding as these cannot be recycled. You should also thoroughly clean the interior of the seat with soap and water before donating it to ensure that anything harmful doesn’t end up back on the streets.

When disposing of your car seat, do not wrap it in a plastic bag or cover it with other trash because this will contaminate the recycling process and cause workers to have to cut the straps off before they can recycle them.

How To Recycle Car seats?

Many parents are under the misconception that they may not be able to recycle their child’s car seat once it has reached its end of life. This is simply not true! Provided you have kept your child safe and supported in a properly fitted, correctly used car seat up until this point, recycling your children’s old car seat before buying a new one is an easy process that you can feel good about.

There are many options for recycling car seats, and there’s no reason to keep a potentially dangerous seat around longer than necessary when your local municipalities have made it so easy to dispose of at the end of its useful life. In fact, in some areas, like Los Angeles County, CA, and many cities in New York State, recycling car seats is mandatory.

When your child outgrows their existing seat or reaches the maximum weight limit for a particular model of the car seat (that you are aware of), it’s time to retire that seat. When this happens, there may be some confusion about what to do with your child’s car seat. You may have heard that you can donate seats, but this is not always the case – some charities will accept used car seats for donation while others are unable or unwilling to provide them as a service due to liability and injury concerns.

Most importantly, remember these tips when recycling/disposing of your child’s old car seat:

Be sure the child has outgrown the existing seat and that it is not simply due to an injury. Dispose of the car seats in compliance with local laws, such as Los Angeles County’s Mandatory Seat Recycling Program. Never recycle a used or broken infant/child car seat by putting it on the curb with your other recyclable items.

This is not only dangerous for those who may come in contact with this seat (such as children or animals), but you are also at risk of a citation from local authorities if they see that item when they drive by to pick up your recycling bin. Dispose of the old car seat by following proper guidelines. This may include recycling a seat or donating it to an individual, organization, charity/non-profit agency that will accept the donation of this type of item (such as car seats).

Do Car Seats Need To Be Replaced After An Accident?

Yes, it is recommended that car seats be replaced after an accident. While they may appear to still be in good condition, the seat’s internal harness system can stretch and break over time if not properly stored or disposed of. Replacing a car seat ensures proper function with current safety regulations, as well as any future ones.

Is It Illegal To Sell An Expired Car Seat?

It is not illegal to sell used car seats. However, it may be illegal for you to purchase them from a private seller who does not have the consent of the previous owner or proof that they are current in their license renewal process. Contact your local DMV and ask about regulations in your state before buying any second-hand seat – especially if it is from a private seller.

On the other hand, if you find a car seat from someone who has purchased it new and is simply replacing it because they no longer need the second one, or their child outgrew theirs before they were able to use all of its features (such as an infant-only seat that can be used for infants up to 30 pounds but is being replaced by a convertible seat that can also be used for toddlers), then it is likely safe to buy.

Don’t forget about the safety of you and your family, however! Even a gently-used car seat should still have all of its parts correctly attached (if they are detachable) – if any part has been detached or broken off completely, do not purchase the seat. You should also never buy a car seat that does not have all of its labels attached and make sure the expiration date on any second-hand car seat is still valid – if it has already expired, you will need to purchase a new one instead.

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Chelsy Gallagher