What to Do With Your Old and Expired Car Seats
Not sure what to do with your child’s old car seat? While tossing a used and expired car seat out may be the easiest route to take, there are still a lot of better options you can choose from when getting rid of one. In this article, we’re going to show you the many choices to consider when doing away with an old car seat — from donations, trade-in programs and other useful ways of passing child safety forward.
Can You Reuse a Car Seat?
Before deciding to completely do away with a car seat, there are still several ways for you to check if it can still be reused by another child:
1. The car seat hasn’t expired - If a car seat still hasn’t reached its expiration date, you can be assured that it can still deliver its promise of child safety and security features. But if your car seat is already two months shy of expiring, we recommend to start looking for another replacement as soon as possible.
2. The car seat hasn’t been in an accident - A car seat that has been in an accident — big or small — should always be up for immediate replacement. While some people may argue that minor accidents don’t automatically destroy or reduce a car seat's effectiveness, it’s still highly advised by experts to seek a new one right away to get optimal safety for a child.
3. The car seat is clean and well-sanitized - If a car seat has neither expired nor been involved in an accident, then it can still be used by any child right? Well, yes and no. It’s still highly discouraged to let a child use a perfectly functioning car seat if it’s dirty and smelly. That’s why it’s important that every car seat up for reusing has gotten a good scrub first in all corners to disinfect it from germs and bacteria.
4. The car seat is still in good condition - Aside from checking the expiry date, make sure that a car seat up for reusing is free from any big or small damages. Any sign of nicks, dents or broken pieces in a car seat should immediately render it unsuitable for a child’s safety.
Related: 9 Car Seat Safety Tips From an Expert
How to Get Rid of Old and Expired Car Seats?
So, what to do with old car seats? Once you’ve determined that your car seat has either expired or shown enough signs of damage, it can only mean one thing: you need to get rid of it. Here are the options that you can consider when saying goodbye to your car seat:
1. Trade-in Events and Program - Trade-in events and programs are one of the most convenient ways to properly get rid of an old or expired car seat. These events and programs allow you to bring in an old or unusable car seat in exchange for a free event pass and even gift cards and vouchers for your next in-store purchase. These discount vouchers can also apply to when you want to get new strollers and other pieces of baby gear.
2. Donation Drives - Another way to get rid of a used car seat is by donating it to different organizations. From women’s shelters and local charities to church organizations and child passenger safety technicians, there are a lot of groups that can take in your car seat. However, it is also important that you be upfront about the quality of your used car seat to avoid compromising anyone’s safety.
3. Proper Recycling - Instead of throwing your old car seat to the trash, why not have it recycled? You can ask your nearest recycling center if they accept car seats and the plastic material from the gear for recycling or repurposing. Once you’re ready to give your car seat away, make sure that any metal pieces and accessories have been removed from the gear for easy recycling.
4. Proper Disposal - If disposing an old car seat is your only option, you can toss it out the trash but not before doing some car seat disposal guidelines. First, you need to remove any extra padding and foam from the seat. Next, cut away any straps and remove all metal pieces from the seat. Lastly, mark the entire gear as “Unsafe” or “Expired” to discourage anyone from reusing it.
Get to Know More About Car Seats and Child Safety
Knowing when to say goodbye to old and expired car seats is important to avoid compromising your child’s safety. However, there are also sustainable ways for you to get rid of one than just disposing it in the trash.
Whether you’re looking for a new car seat for your child or you just want to know more about child passenger safety, give us a call here at Taxi Baby! Our team of car seat experts and technicians are ready to answer any questions that you might have in keeping your child safe and secure with every ride.