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What to do with old car seats?

(29 Posts)
Poledra Sun 28-Jun-09 21:35:51

That's it really - DD3 has outgrown her britax Cosi-tot and I'm not having any more children <sob>. The seat's still in good nick and never been in an accident, though it is getting on a bit (used for all 3 DDs). Is there a charity or suchlike that could use it? I hate throwing away perfectly serviceable stuff.....

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 28-Jun-09 21:38:21

Not sure whether a charity shop would have them?


Or what about asking your midwife if they could use one? I know my midwife had a few to loan to new mums to get back from hospital.

Poledra Sun 28-Jun-09 21:44:22

Oooh, I like the idea of asking if the midwives need it! Ta!

FanjolinaJolie Mon 29-Jun-09 14:02:56

I second freecycle!

Or Womens Aid/Refuge I'm sure they could use it!

Poledra Mon 29-Jun-09 15:08:08

Have just e-mailed my local Women's Aid to see if they want it. Thanks for the great ideas - hopefully I'll manage to find someone who needs it.

PheasantPlucker Mon 29-Jun-09 15:08:56

I freecycled ours

Poledra Mon 29-Jun-09 17:12:09

Ah well, Women's Aid aren't allowed to pass on second-hand car seats, so can't take it. Looks like it's Freecycle then.

mogs0 Mon 29-Jun-09 20:34:06

I asked something similar a while back with no joy! I was wondering if a playgroup or similar might be able to use them as seats for babies instead of bouncers.

LIZS Mon 29-Jun-09 20:38:17

Can you offer the covers etc even if they won't take the seat itself

spicemonster Mon 29-Jun-09 20:38:55

Or do you know anyone who might like it? My DS's 2nd stage car seat is a hand me down and his first stage one is on its 3rd baby now.

Poledra Mon 29-Jun-09 22:09:39

See, spicemonster, I don't know anyone who needs it. Most of my friends have finished their families [old fart emoticon] and need the seat even less than me. The only friend I have who's pg at the moment is in Australia.......
Oh, and one other couple who have been waiting for their baby for so long it'll probably have cashmere car seat covers and most certainly a brand-new seat. grin

sazm Mon 29-Jun-09 22:59:49

depends how old it is,if its more than 5/6yrs old cut the straps and bin it as its not safe to use anymore,

spicemonster Tue 30-Jun-09 10:22:48

Poledra - I am also a very elderly mother. I have given my seat to my friend for her impending grand-daughter shock

Seriously, I would ask around - might be useful for a grandparent for occasional use. Otherwise it's off to the tip which does seem a dreadful waste I agree.

Verity79 Tue 30-Jun-09 11:16:14

Check the seat to see the date stamped on the plastic/if there is a sticker with date of manufacture. If it's any older than Jun 2003 (Britax expire after 6 years) cut the straps, take the cover off and throw the shell away at the tip. The straps and cover can go in your bin at home. That way no one is tempted to 'rescue' it. You might even want to write on the shell 'expired not safe'.

If it's not expired and it hasn't been in an accident/been recalled/had the straps immersed in water you could freecycle it.

Just an FYI seats expire as plastic degrades over time, safety measures improve, standard change etc. See here for GMTV video clip of a 10 year old car seat.

nothingventured Tue 30-Jun-09 13:20:14

Verity Where would I look on a Britax for the date stamp? I have one and would like to check its date but can't see a stamp/sticker. Wondering if not looking in the right place.

Verity79 Tue 30-Jun-09 13:39:25

It does depend on the model but I found a Britax car seat from 1999 in a charity shop a while ago and that was on the underside of the shell, it was moulded into the plastic. It looked like a dial with an arrow pointing to the year and a dial with an arrow pointing to the month.

Try turning your car seat upside down and looking at the part of the seat behind where the baby's back would go (if that makes sense grin). If not there it might be on either side by the sticker that has the group/weight limit on.


nothingventured Tue 30-Jun-09 13:46:42

Thanks so much, didn't know about them expiring, it was given to us by friends who I trust when they say its never been in an accident but I don't trust the plastic if its out of date IYSWIM. Will go and check. Thanks again.

Poledra Tue 30-Jun-09 14:19:11

Didn't know about them going out of date - I know the age of mine, as I bought it new, but it was 5 years ago, so I guess it doesn't actually have much life left in it after all.

Thanks all.

Bramshott Tue 30-Jun-09 14:22:33

I asked the council if there was anywhere that recycled them when we had finished with DD2's but there wasn't. I agree that really there should be something to do with them, given it's not safe to go on using them ad-infinitem. Should we be lobbying the manufacturers on this to see if they will take them back and recycle / reuse any parts?!

GhostOfPsychomum5 Tue 30-Jun-09 14:27:24

do they really 'go out of date'???

are you sure it is not just something carseat people say to con us get us all to buy new after 6yrs??

surely in this day and age they can make seats that last a good long while, seeing as seats in cars don;t seem to expire, and neither do cars for that matter.

and what about the iso-fix type ones???

feeling a bit cynical about tis TBH.

Bramshott Tue 30-Jun-09 14:56:03

I think the main problem is that plastic becomes more brittle with age. There are plastic parts in the seat buckle, and obviously the main shell.

Poledra Tue 30-Jun-09 15:52:11

I know where you're coming from Psycho, but the problem is that I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable passing on a seat that I'm not 100% sure is safe - so I suppose you're right, they are conning me.

I was already feeling bad in some ways about trying to pass the seat on as I would not buy a second-hand seat for my children, I've always bought new. I just thought if someone couldn't afford new, then this would be better than nothing.... oh I don't know what to do for the best with the damn thing!!

missusp Tue 30-Jun-09 16:06:20

what a can of worms!!

I understand that plastic/rubber degrades over time and becomes brittle. Ever found an old rubber band and stretched it to see it disintegrate!

And there could be hidden damage from an accident.

But surely there are some people out there who really need a car seat and can't afford one. How can we help them?

Bramshott Tue 30-Jun-09 16:15:30

If you happen to live in Colorado, here is a guy who recycles them grin!

Seriously though, I think I will write to Maxi Cosi (just because that's where mine come from) - really they should be taking these things back in like the electrical manufactuers.

Verity79 Tue 30-Jun-09 16:24:36

Plastic degrades over time becoming brittle/ stress fractures occur due to changes in temperature/dropping, also what was considered a safe seat in 2000 might not pass current safety test even if it was made this year. It isn't the car seat manufacturers conning us it's physics getting the better of us!

You can get car seats brand new for £30 now. I know that may be a lot of money if you are very poor but to be really harsh if you can afford to run a car you can afford to 'splash out' on a £30 seat. Hospitals have loaners if you really can't afford one just to transport baby home from hospital and they would be in date and accident free.

Don't feel guilty binning the seat. It could seriously injure or kill a child in an accident. It has served it's purpose keeping your children safe and it's now time to retire it wink obviously if it was made in 2006 you've got some life left in it and could pass it on.

I'm saying this as someone who very gratefully accepted a Mamas & Papas Primo Viaggio from a mum I knew through a playgroup. She was taking me out for the day with her DC and our car seat was in DH's car so she gave me her old one she had just finished using for her DS. We went out in the car and when we came home I noticed that the seat cover could do with a wash. I took it off to find dried vomit, twisted straps and cracked EPS shell which was also missing bits (the polystyrene stuff). I later found out she got it off a neighbour who had got it off somebody else and she had no idea of it's history. If we had been in an accident my DD could have been killed angry.

I learnt my lesson then never use a second hand seat unless you can trust the person who gave you the seat. I'm not saying that to have a go at you (Poledra) because I know you've got good intentions but once a seat starts getting passed about the instructions get lost, straps get twisted, bits get broken, it expires and nobody know how to look for the date or how to use it safely, etc. The person passing on the seat in the first place WAS doing a good thing but it soon gets passed on and on and on......

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