All of the various stages of child restraint systems sold in Canada have an expiry date. It is either imprinted on the plastic, on a sticker affixed to the seat, or written in the user manual. The date is not something required by regulation, but is put there by the manufacturers to let owners and future owners of used seats know its usage life. It drives home the danger of using older second hand seats; you just can’t be sure of its history. Car seats expire because of things like exposure to sunlight, labels fading and becoming hard to read, lost instruction manuals and most importantly, safety standards may have changed over time.
Maybe you’ve bought a new one and want to dispose of the old one. Something you need to be aware of is if you own a car seat or booster made before January 1st 2012, under Health Canada’s Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, you may not be able to advertise, sell, or give it away because it may not meet the latest requirements set out by Health Canada.
If it has it been damaged in a car accident, what should you do with it now? This is a very important question because if you do the wrong thing, the seat could end up in the hands of someone who doesn’t know the history of it. It may in fact, be put back into service, putting a child at great risk.
The good news is that there are some very simple tips and tricks that will make sure this never happens.
Get ready to take out your daily frustrations!!
- Remove the straps, and don’t be kind! Use scissors to cut them out of the seat and then cut them into pieces.
- Remove the buckles and discard.
- Remove the cover, liners and any foam inserts. Cut them into pieces and discard.
- This is my favourite part. Wearing safety glasses, hit your seat with a hammer. Punch a couple holes in it.
- Put it all into a black garbage bag so that a passer-by doesn’t recognize what it is.
- The purpose of all of this is to make it look like garbage; it is garbage, so it should appear that way!
Follow these steps and you can rest assured that it will end up in the right place.