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Old baby car seat?

(28 Posts)
isthishouseamidden Mon 06-Feb-17 10:56:54

DS has outgrown his infant car seat and I am wondering what best to do with it. First of all I'd just like to say that I am absolutely NOT selling it!

But AIBU to give it away/freecycle? The thing is that it was not new to us. It was given to us by friends who had used it for their 2 children for our DD. So DS is the 4th baby to have used it. It must be around 7 years old. It's well used but in reasonable condition and has never been in an accident.

It seems wasteful to send it to landfill? But can they be recycled? It's a maxi cost pebble with isofix base if that makes a difference?

Sirzy Mon 06-Feb-17 11:00:15

They have a "lifespan" don't they anyway? Personally all I would do with an old seat is cut the straps off and dump it.

MTBMummy Mon 06-Feb-17 11:02:29

I could be wrong, but I think like bicycle helmets the polystyrene degrades after a couple of years hence the reason for not selling/passing on. But many people I know use the same seat for siblings with several years between them.

I don't know the answer... Not helpful

EatTheChocolateTeapot Mon 06-Feb-17 11:02:57

I think a Freecycle is a good idea, this model was still being sold in store 2-3 years ago when I was looking at car seats.

Manepartner Mon 06-Feb-17 11:04:37

Giving away free isn't any better than selling it though? The idea behind not selling them on is to prevent people from using very old 'past their best' seats and to protect buyers from seats which may be compromised in terms of safety

Ewock Mon 06-Feb-17 11:10:51

I think I remember reading something about car seats having a 5 year life span due to the plastic degrading. But I could be wrong. It might be worth checking out the life span before giving ut away.

Olympiathequeen Mon 06-Feb-17 11:18:10

Maybe ring the manufacturer customer service and ask if there is a use by date. If it's the safest thing to go to landfill then that may be for the best.

Yura Mon 06-Feb-17 11:23:06

Maybe Freecycle it under with the disclaimer "not to be used in the car anymore"? I occasionally see people asking for older ones for reborn dolls, or Theater probs?
And put a label on it " has been in accident". If nobody wants it, you can still send it to landfill

twinkle1990 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:24:09

Maxi cosi say their car seats have a life span of 5 years (you can find out how old it is by looking at the number on the label)

Interestingly, brotax say their car seats have a life of 10 years 🤔

Ewock Mon 06-Feb-17 15:11:26

Twinkle we have a maxi cosi so that is probably where I read it. Strange that one company says 5 years and another 10 years.

bumbleymummy Mon 06-Feb-17 15:24:32

Maxi cosi say they develop their car seats for intensive use of 10 years but that they don't expire and it depends on how they are used. Link to maxi cosi here

welovepancakes Mon 06-Feb-17 15:26:52

Or offer to social work dept & let them decide if it's suitable to pass on to a family in need. I would take manufacturers' guidance about life span with a pinch of salt, given that they have a vested interest in persuading you to buy a new one

Mrsglitterfairy Mon 06-Feb-17 15:29:53

Good idea re giving away but putting disclaimer not to be used in car. A friend of mine got an old baby's car seat for her daughter to use for her dolls - doll car seats can be ridiculously expensive I think

PunjanaTea Mon 06-Feb-17 15:37:24

I'm very sceptical about the idea that plastic degrading to the point of being unusable after 5 years. The stuff is pretty much indestructible.

I would however love to know how old car seats can be reused/ recycled safely.

savagehk Mon 06-Feb-17 15:39:44

There's supposed to be some kind of expiry on the shell somewhere.
I have given away an old seat to a charity who helps those who have nothing. Most other charities won't touch it as they're scared of being sued (like with upholstered items that don't have the fire safety tag thing on!)

WatchingIZombie Mon 06-Feb-17 15:43:26

It's the polystyrene that degrades, not the plastic. As long as the plastic shell and harness are in good condition it's worth seeing if you can get replacement polystyrene, then it's practically as good as new. I wouldn't send it to landfill though. Such a waste! The seat base should be fine though as long as it hasn't been in an accident, so you can easily sell or pass that on.

trashcanjunkie Mon 06-Feb-17 15:44:10

I work in a children's social work team. We just bought in new 0-7 yr car seats. We wouldn't pass on used car chairs to families. Our old car seats looked safe but in fact they weren't as the car seat trainers from Halfords explained and then demonstrated. Truly chilling as we believed we were using safe equipment. 12 of ours were deemed dangerous. Chuck it away.

WatchingIZombie Mon 06-Feb-17 15:44:47

(P.s. ROSPA actually gave me that advice when I spoke to them about getting my car seats replaced after an accident).

onlyjustme Mon 06-Feb-17 16:41:32

I think they do have an expiry somewhere...
Anyway we had a "spare" car seat that was useful in the house. I know they can't be left in them for hours but it was a "safe" place for DD / DS while I had a shower...
Where IS all the STUFF going??? Landfill??? sad

littledinaco Mon 06-Feb-17 16:56:10

I thought it was the plastic that degraded-so if it's exposed to sunlight and cold temperatures it weakens it and plastic just generally gets weaker after time.

On that maxi cosi link about seats lasting 10 years, it says do not expose to sunlight for long periods of time so if the seat has been left in the car then I would guess it may be getting on for not being safe after 7 years.

I would do what pp says and cut the straps and dump. That's what I did with an old seat. It does seem really wasteful but I didn't want someone else using it thinking it was safe when it was several years old.

I thought they all had an expiry date on them though?

donquixotedelamancha Mon 06-Feb-17 17:07:36

"Maxi cosi say their car seats have a life span of 5 years (you can find out how old it is by looking at the number on the label)"....and bottle makers say silicone teats fall apart after 3 months, washing powder companies tell you to put in about double what you need, etc.

Expanded polystyrene takes a long time to decay (former industrial chemist here). Old (like decades old) plastic becomes brittle, but I think allowing 10 years of life is still extremely cautious.

Good car seat. If it's less than 10 years old, and you are sure it's never been in a car crash, I think it's fine to freecycle. Perhaps ask the new owners to dispose of it after they're done.

BertieBotts Mon 06-Feb-17 17:33:27

They don't expire in Europe. Car seats have expiry dates in the US but it's not the same here. Part of that is due to the way regulations work - child safety products in the US are more likely to be released and then later recalled/amended whereas in Europe the standards are stricter to begin with, but it's also cultural, there is a much stronger culture of using second hand goods in the US and it's likely by the time a car seat has been in use for several years there it's likely to have been passed around several families and the manual, parts etc may be missing.

I would pass it on. The Maxi Cosi Pebble is an excellent seat and you know the history of it. If you can pass it on to someone you know even better, if not perhaps let the people know that it's been through a few babies and they shouldn't pass it on indefinitely.

FWIW, Maxi-Cosi's international website states that their car seats don't expire but that they design them for a lifespan of 10 years.

(The UK FAQ is much shorter but doesn't mention expiry at all).

BertieBotts Mon 06-Feb-17 17:34:55

This is it since it's hard to find:

We develop our car seats for an intensive use of approximately 10 years. However car seats don’t expire and the lifetime is dependent on the real use of a car seat. Car seats involved in an accident should be replaced immediately. We advise to never use a car seat whose history is unknown since it could have been involved in an accident, or have some broken, torn or missing parts. Do not leave the car seat exposed to direct sunlight for long periods and we advise to check the plastic parts regularly for damages or changes in shape or colour. The expanded polystyrene (EPS) parts of your car seat are important to guarantee the best safety performance. We advise to check the expanded polystyrene (EPS) regularly for damages.

bumbleymummy Mon 06-Feb-17 19:56:05

Thanks Bertie - I should have copied and pasted it from the link earlier!

It wouldn't really make sense for a seat to expire after 5 years. Some of the seats are meant to last up until the child is 12.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Feb-17 20:03:12

I think it's either safe or it isn't.

If you don't think it's fit for resale, I rather dislike the idea of passing it on to social services to be used for vulnerable children whose parents may not be able to afford anything better.

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