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is my 7 yr old car seat now 'out of date'?

(28 Posts)
ipanemagirl Fri 10-Oct-08 12:52:22

we have 7 yr old Britax rock a tot car seat used for ds & in v good condition. Mothercare bloke said some car seats are considered redundant post 5 years.
Surely this is nonsense!

differentWitch Fri 10-Oct-08 12:54:26

it depends on how they have been stored- generally, there can be weakened areas in the plastic depending on where it's been stored, what, if anything has been on top, etc.

sammybeth Fri 10-Oct-08 12:54:55

I,ve never heard this before. He,s prob just saying that so you,ll spend more money in mothercare !!

Lilyloo Fri 10-Oct-08 12:57:13

Never heard of this dd2 is now using dd1 car seat but that's 3 years old. Why would they be redundant ?

differentWitch Fri 10-Oct-08 12:57:48

plus, it's to do with improvements in child safety e.g side impact improvements, strength of the webbing straps.

Divvy Fri 10-Oct-08 12:58:52

the newer car seats now have alot more padding on them, so maybe yours could do with renwing?

I am now horried at what i put my eldest in way back when...

it had no padding on head area and a bolt screw very near to back of head! shock thank god we never crashed!

they all have plactic underneath now and polystrine which 20 years ago they never had.

polystrine can age, as crash helmets are only good for 3 years for this reason.

hannahsaunt Fri 10-Oct-08 13:07:59

Ds3 has just about grown out of our rockatot which is now 8. He's the sixth baby to use it smile. It's in great condition. He's about to go into our 7 year old maxi cosi which has done three previous children. Neither have been in any accidents.

ipanemagirl Fri 10-Oct-08 13:11:37

thnx 4 advice. it was stored in its own box in il's loft. looks perfect.

actually mothercare guy thought our rock a tot looked better than the newest one particularly the head rest bit!

but i could chk with britax.......

differentWitch Fri 10-Oct-08 13:19:06

has it been subjected to extremes of heat? Does your loft get very hot in summer or is it at a more even temperature.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Fri 10-Oct-08 13:20:14

If it is made of polystyrene it will not be suitable to use.

I would phone Britax for advice. I did this and they said the seat was fine for a bit longer.

no everyone is out to make you spend money. hmm

castille Fri 10-Oct-08 13:24:06

We had intended to use our 9-year-old maxi cosi stage 1 car seat for DC3, but when I took it apart to wash the covers I found that the straps were torn almost half way across where they had rubbed on the plastic when tightened and loosenedshock

The worn parts were underneath the seat so not at all easy to spot or obvious. The polystyrene was broken too and the plastic looked faded and weakened. But with the seat cover on it looked almost new. It had been carefully stored and it had never been in any accidents. But we had to buy a new one.

The moral...please check your old seats thoroughly before re-usingwink

tassisssss Fri 10-Oct-08 13:30:42

when i took the fabric off my mamas and papas 1st stage carseat to wash for dc3 I discovered the polystyrene had split. It was 5 years old at the time and had been already used by 3 wee ones. I borrowed one from SIL and it too had split, thankfully she had 2. I'd not have been impressed if i'd had to spend out an a new one.

Similarly we have a britax freeway or similar that's split right where the head would go. It's not in use but I could really do with a 2nd this size. I keep meaning to phone britax and see if they'd replace this piece of polystyrene. This carseat is about 4 years old but was always a spare and really hasn't been used a lot.

andyrobo237 Fri 10-Oct-08 13:35:40

I read on the web somewhere about the degregation of plastic when it is over 5 years old. I had my suspicions about it as I wear safety helmets through work and they are date stamped and we have to replace them after 5 years. So I went looking on DD's seat which I was to use for DS - it was 5 years old, so we bought a new one. It looked fine, but felt as we could afford it the risk wasnt worth it. Apparently the plastic can shatter and is worse if it has been stored in extreme temps.

there is some info here

I do think you have to use your common sense about these things!

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Fri 10-Oct-08 13:41:15

A seat even used only onjce needs to be safe and if the polystyrene is cracked it isn't safe. Surely it is a no brainer?

tassisssss - I am sure you would have been less impressed if your child had been injured or killed in an accident after using a broken car seat. How can you say you wouldn't have been impressed at having to buy something to protect your child?

ipanemagirl Fri 10-Oct-08 13:47:51

thanks, i'll chk the seat & with britax....!

tassisssss Fri 10-Oct-08 14:10:48

What i meant was that i'd have expected it to last my 3 children, it cost over £100 less than 5 years previously. All my other equipment (and some of it had been in constant use) has lasted 5 years and I was surprised and unimpressed that the carsear hadn't lasted.

Of course I'd have bought a new one if I'd had to, there was no way she was going to go in a broken or unsafe seat, but I was very pleased to have been able to borrow one.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Fri 10-Oct-08 14:17:56

But it is made out of different stuff and has a different use. I can understand as seats are expensive and we have bought 10 over our time of being parents but it is just something you have to do.

tassisssss Fri 10-Oct-08 14:22:08

oh well we'll have to agree to disagree

I think they're overpriced and i'd really resent having to buy another. I think they should be able to make them sturdy enough to last if well looked after.

I'm walking away now.

ipanemagirl, I hope you get good advise from britax. we also have found halfords quite helpful when it comes to buying carseats.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Fri 10-Oct-08 14:40:40

There is no need to walk away. We aren't having a row.

They can't make them too heavy I wouldn't think.

Pinkyminkee Fri 10-Oct-08 16:06:53

I thought it was 5 years, thne replace. If you have a younger seat and the polystyrene has split, you can buy new polystyrene insert. DS broke the polystyrene insert on our maxi-cosi when I took the cover offf to clean it ready for DD. We bought a new insert for 10 pounds.

nannyL Fri 10-Oct-08 18:48:48

my brotax renaissance car seat was well used..

right now it would have coming up to 8 years old, but it broke in the summer

to be fair it has been used for most of the week days constantly for 8 years, but still LOOKED immaculate, and was tightly fitting and very comfortable etc.

It had been extreamly well looked after (i take them apart and inspect them and wash the covers every 6 months always)

anyway on my way home from the school run i pulled the tightener strap as you do (I am meticulosue and adjust the strap EVERY SINGLE journey and always have.... i loosen it before i unclik and tighten it again when they are back in

anyway i pulled the strap to tighten it and... CLICK.... this bit of plastic that hold the seat in its sitting up / lie back position snapped out...

it just broke just like that shock which meant that the seat was rocking from sitting upright to lieback mode all the time... clearly extreamly dangerouse.
I was so shocked as that piece must have lost its strength... what if we had been in an accident... i dread to think what would have happend if it had to take the energy of a crash, it would have broken leaving the seat flopping between lieing back and sitting up, which i imagine justmaybe could have caused the chair bit to come out of the bit strapped in shock

luckily it was the morning school run and my 2&3/4 year old was a big chap and just about 15kg so could for this one journey travel in his brothers britax highliner seat (from 15kg, but i think they need a 5 point harness until 4 years old)

luckily when i got back to there house DB was there and i borrowed the car seat (maxi cosi priori) from his car and am using that now...

so now matter how good your car seat looks (mine looked immaculate, so much so that my seat cover 7 years old sold for £24 on ebay grin and the car seat itself went to the dump) and even if it has never been in a crash, i think my car seat is proof that the do degenerate with age

tassisssss Fri 10-Oct-08 19:29:34

nannyL, selling the seat covers on ebay is inspired, thanks for that.

I'mnot - it felt like you were getting at me, but i'm VERY tired and sensitive today so I'm glad you werent and that we're still friends, phew!

i've never heard the 5 years then replace rule but pinky it's great to hear you can get new inserts, thanks for that.

SorenLorensen Fri 10-Oct-08 19:32:20

I used the Britax Rock-a-Tot we had for ds1 for ds2 - five years later. It hadn't been in an accident, we had the head protection cushion for extra padding...it never occured to me not to use it, tbh.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Fri 10-Oct-08 19:34:49

Oh goodness, I so was not getting at you and I am very sorry you felt that way. I feel very strongly about car safety and just handled it all wrong. I tend to do that a lot and spend my life apologising. Are you feeling better now?

We had the rock a tot for DS1 and I phoned Britax to check it hadn't been recalled. We ended up getting a new seat for DD as Graco had brought out a better one by then with more safety features.

mumofmonstersOBE Fri 10-Oct-08 19:52:32

our graco one has a date stamp on the bottom, we were given it by a friend, checked it for split polystyrene and all that and the date stamp is dec this year were, hopefully, DS3 will be ready to swap to the britax eclipse, i don't want to buy a whole new seat for a couple of months!(of course i will if he is not big enough for next stage seat)

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