Improvements made in child safety seats, safety standards, research, and design combine to produce better products year after year. Newer child safety seats have been crash tested to meet stricter safety standards so offer more protection than earlier models. They may also offer more user-friendly and convenience features than older models.
Child safety seats are not intended to last forever and child safety seat manufacturers typically acknowledge this by assigning an expiration date to their products. Some child safety seats will have an expiration date stamped on them or information about the “life” of the child safety seat in the instruction manual. If you are unable to locate an expiration date, contact the manufacturer of the seat. You will need to provide the manufacturer with the model number and date of manufacture, which will be located on one of the labels attached to the seat.
Although the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association recommends that a child safety seat be used no longer than six years from the date of manufacture, expiration dates can vary from child safety seat to child safety seat. To be on the safe side, make sure you know how long you can use your specific child safety seat.