Works For Me Wednesday- Car Seat Safety

wfmw One of the decisions every expecting parents agonize over (and there are a million aren’t there?) is what car seat to get. When we were preparing for the arrival of our first child we scoured Consumer Reports, asked friends, checked books, read reviews, did it all. And we landed on the Graco SnugRide. We have been thrilled with our choice three times over now. Easy to install, easy to handle, easy to get your kid in and out of. Truly the perfect infant seat.

Graco Snugride has been one of the top rated infant carriers for years. It is rigorously tested to meet US standards. Actually Graco goes above and beyond US safety standards and also tests for side impact. It also has the new EPS energy absorbing foam and conveniently fits with your car’s LATCH system. Graco has made it easy to feel safe with our choice in car seats.

We are a bit of freaks when it comes to car seat safety in this house. We totally read the manual, schedule a car seat check and check and recheck every time we put the kids in the car. And by “we” and by “freaks” I mean my husband. He is known as a bit of a safety freak around town. Well I don’t know if around town is quite accurate, but most who know him know he has a bit of a safety obsession. So when Silas was born one of the first things we talked about was how soon we could schedule a car seat check with a professional. It just happens that one of our friends is a professional so we brought it by to have her check it out. Immediately she informed us that our car seat had expired.

I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was some sort of scam by car seat manufacturers to milk me out of my money. Just keepin’ it real. But I discovered after some research that car seats have expiration dates on them, usually between 5-8 years. There are a few reasons why. The biggest is that the plastic can break down over time so that it won’t absorb the impact of a crash as well. Also car seat technology is constantly evolving, helping to make our kids safer. Remember we used to just bounce around in the front seat and sleep in the back window? Now we got fancy LATCH systems and stuff. Bottom line, check your car seat, this is not something you want to mess around with.

Unfortunately I have tried to find a good way to get rid of expired seats and there really isn’t one. Obviously, you don’t want anyone else using an expired seat. Quick aside: this is also a reason never to buy a used car seat. You have no idea if it has been in an accident or been damaged. Anyway, some communities have trade-in or recycle events. When I googled it, I found a few around the country. But very few. Really the best thing you can do is cut the straps so it isn’t usable and put it in the trash. I know, I hate that part too, but I guess in this case my kids safety is just going to have to come first.

For more helpful tips, head over to We Are That Family.

*Disclosure: Graco provided me with a new SnugRide to replace my expired one. They provided me with safety information to assist me in writing this post, but all the opinions about the SnugRide were totally mine. I have been a Graco fan long before we partnered together.


  1. We’re Graco fans too. You just didn’t have your kids close enough together. LOL. Our third is in our unexpired Graco infant seat, but that happens when you have three kids in four years. :)
    .-= Kristy´s last blog ..Visiting Saint Nick =-.

  2. I wrote a post previously about the fact that carseats could expire. When I discovered it for myself (not long before I wrote that post), I too was shocked.

    Great post! People need to KNOW this stuff!
    .-= Kaye´s last blog ..WFMW – Helping Baby Dress =-.

  3. We loved our Graco SnugRide, too! Our 6mo has already outgrown it, so he’s in a convertible seat. My 3yo daughter is now in a Graco Nautilus, and we LOVE it!! I’m so glad it’s the last seat we’ll have to buy for her, since it converts to a high-back booster and then a backless booster.
    .-= Jeni´s last blog ..Yes, please. =-.

  4. Thanks for the thorough report! I went ahead and bookmarked the Graco SnugRide page, so when I go to do carseat research, they will be on the top of my list. Thanks so much for your helpful input!

    .-= Kelly Hupcey´s last blog ..See How Easily You Can Help our Troops! =-.

  5. Yeah! I always love it when I see car seat info on blogs, anyway to get the info out to parents!! I am probably the safety freak around here :)
    I have heard of old seats being used for trainings so you could always check with your local Safe Kids, or whatever agency does the seat checks close to you.

  6. Check your local health dept. I know that ours accepts expired car seats to recycle.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Friday Fragments =-.

  7. A little late on responding but RE: getting rid of expired seats. Take the cover and buckles off and put them in seperate bags of household trash. Then take the straps and cut them in several pieces. You can then just put the shell of the seat on the curb or in your trash can if it fits (mine never will!). If you really want to get wild then smash the seat with a sledge hammer!

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