Child Safety Seat Expiration Dates

Child Safety Seat Expiration Dates
By: Holly Brantley
Cape Girardeau, MO - You wouldn't drink milk that’s past the expiration date - so what about the child restraint that protects your most precious possession?

They too have a limited life-time and expiration date. Do you know where to look for it?

Most car sears are probably the same age as the child. But, what if yours is being re-used or a hand me down? Is it safe? And how old is too old? We asked the experts for some tips.

Brenda Bowman is with Safe Kids of Southeast Missouri Hospital. Bowman checks safety seats in 17 counties of Southeast Missouri. She says 4 in 5 sears are not used correctly. One criteria of meeting standards means making sure sears are less than six years old. “Just look for them, they are usually on the back,” said Bowman. “If you don't see the actual date on there it will have a manufactured date. Go six years from that.”

Manufacturer’s dates are usually on the side. If you buy a used seat, you'll want to make sure these dates are there. ‘If you're going to buy a used seat, you need to ask if the seat has ever been in a crash,” said Bowman. “You also need to get information like the serial number of the seat, who manufactured the seat, and ask if the seat has ever been recalled.”

Bevin Guth is a mother and a nurse. Bevin prefers seats that have never been used. “They are tested for safety but after one accident plastic could be damaged belt could be damaged. You don't want to use it anymore,” said Bevin.

Bowman says it’s important to read the directors carefully. She also recommends calling Southeast Missouri Hospital to make sure your seat is installed correctly. Bowman also says just because a seat is more expensive that does not mean it’s safer. “You should also choose the right seat for your child’s size and age,” said Bowman.

For more information log on to or call SAFE KIDS of the Cape Girardeau area at 573-651-5815