Did you know that children’s car seats have an expiration date? If you haven’t done a check recently, now is a good time to pull it out and ensure it’s still safe to use. We have partnered with Sit Tight this month to help you do just that, in a way that’s easy to understand and stress-free to learn.
Most child restraints will have a car seat date stamp on their shell with the date they were manufactured or the expiry date. While there is more than one way to read the date stamp, below is a common way car seats might present its manufacture clock which gives you the year, month, and day the child restraint was manufactured.
Here’s how to find out a car seat’s manufacture date in 4 easy steps:
Step one: Find out the month of manufacture. The image below has the month clock face circled with the numbers 1 to 12 and an arrow pointing to number 8. This means the car seat was manufactured in August.
Step two: Find out the day of manufacture. The image below has the day clock face circled with a few numbers exposed at intervals. The arrow is between 25 and 30 is pointing to 27, meaning the manufacture day is the 27th day of the month. So far, we can tell this car seat was manufactured on 27 August.
Step three: Find out the manufacture year. The image below has the year clock face circled with numbers 14 to 19. This can be read as the years 2014–2019. The arrow is pointing to 18, meaning the manufacture year is 2018.
Step four: Put all the numbers together. Based on what we see on the above images, we can establish that this car seat was manufactured on 27 August 2018.
Now that we have established the baby car seat manufacturing date, we need to check the car seat lifespan. To do this, check out the Car Seat Lifespan List, look for the brand of your car seat, go to the DOM (date of manufacture) column on the list to see the lifespan and add that to your date of manufacture. This will tell you when your car seat expires.
Some child restraints have more information such as the expiry date but learning how to read the manufacture date is a helpful start. If you are having trouble reading the date stamp, or can’t seem to find your car seat on the lifespan list, you can contact Sit Tight directly and they will be able to help you.
Sit Tight is an organisation that provides child restraint education and training. They have helpful information and child car seat courses— including how to install a newborn car seat— so check them out if you would like more information on car seats, baby capsule options, booster seats, learn more about car seat laws in NZ or find a Child Restraint Technician near you.