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car seats - how long can they be (re)used?

(6 Posts)
SoTiredoftheWheelsontheBus Wed 22-Jun-11 12:17:54

DS is 4, and DC2 is on the way. We had assumed that we'd be able to reuse all of ds's stuff, like buggy, cot and car seat, but a friend told me recently that car seats should only be used for a couple of years, then thrown away. Apparently it's a safety issue - maybe something to do with the plastic /fixings starting to break down?

This was the first time I had heard that, and wondered if anyone else has heard something similar. I don't want to go into a store and ask about this, because obviously they're going to want to sell me a new car seat.

I have heard previously about not buying second-hand car seats because you can't be certain that the seat hasn't been involved in an accident, but this is not a consideration here. The seat has always been in our possesion, and we know it has not been involved in an accident.

Also, thinking about the stage 2/3 car seats, they are obviously built to last more than 5 years.
Does anyone have any advice?

osd Wed 22-Jun-11 12:21:00

Oh, i have never heard this,and have reused all our car seats and i have 3 dc, would also like to know, as about to move youngest into middle car seat and buy a booster for eldest.

nocake Wed 22-Jun-11 12:30:47

You're correct is saying that the plastic breaks down over time but different companies give different life spans for their seats. Maxi Cosi says 6 years but I couldn't find anything on the Britax website saying how long their seats last.

osd Wed 22-Jun-11 19:04:22

But what if you buy one that is from 4 years until 12, i am sure that is what we have. And if that's the case why don't more people know? I wasn't told when buying my car seats from Halfords or the Ford Shop, or from the Health Visitor. This is a bit concerning and hope this gets more posts, as really would love to know more.

whomovedmychocolate Wed 22-Jun-11 19:05:29

There should be a date on the car seat of manufacture or expiry. If you remove the cover and look they tend to look like dials with the year and month of manufacture marked.

Roo83 Wed 22-Jun-11 21:36:15

My hv told me not to re-use after 4 years but not sure if this is correct for all seats? Probably also depends where it's been stored etc. We had one seat that some mice had nibbled, so obv.couldn't take a chance on that....it was only 1yr old

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