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Is the Car Seat in Your Car Really Protecting Your Little One?

Traci Taylor

Did you know that car seats come with an expiration date? It’s true! They won’t start sprouting mold or inexplicably implode, but you could be putting your little one at risk if you place them in an expired car seat.

When I first heard that car seats come with an expiration date, I immediately thought it was a way for the manufacturers to squeeze more money out of consumers. It seems like everybody is out to squeeze all they can from our wallets, doesn’t it? But that’s not why car seats come with an expiration. The come with an expiration to keep your tiny human safe, a fact that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration agrees with.

Why do car seats expire? For starters, technology improves and standards change. When I was a baby, car seats weren’t even mandatory in cars. Fast forward to 2002 when car seats had long been mandatory, but they weren’t even equip with lower anchors and tethers, now a standard feature. Secondly, car seats weren’t made to last forever. With time, car seat bases can develop hairline fractures and those could shatter if you’re in a car accident. And lastly, manufacturers only test car seats for a certain amount of time so they don’t know how older car seats will hold up in an accident.

If you want to make sure the car seat you have is safe for your tiny human, the Broome County Health Department and Broome County Sheriff’s office will be hosting a car seat check during National Night Out at the Town of Maine Park on Route 26 behind the Maine Memorial School this evening, August 5th, from 6pm-8pm.

This event will include free child safety checks by Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians as well as free educational materials and guidance on child safety seats.

If you’re interested in having your car seat looked at, you should bring your car seat (s), child(ren), and the vehicle the child safety seat will be installed in as well as the car seat manual and vehicle manual.

Learn more about the events planned at tonight’s Town of Maine National Night Out here.

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