Old car seats: What should I do with my old car seat?
If you are considering donating your old car seat, review the following list to determine if your car seat is in good enough condition to do so. If you answer "yes" to any of the items listed below, the car seat is not in good condition and it is recommended that you take apart the seat and dispose of it.
  • The seat is too old. Look on the label for the date it was made. Do not use seats that are more than six years old. Many manufacturers recommend that car safety seats only be used for five to six years from the date of manufacture. Check with the manufacturer to find out how long the company recommends using its seat.
  • The seat has visible cracks in the frame of the seat.
  • The seat does not have a label with the date of manufacture and model number. Without these, you cannot check to see if the seat has been recalled.
  • The seat does not come with instructions. You need them to know how to use the seat. You can get a copy of the instruction manual by contacting the manufacturer.
  • The seat is missing parts. Used car safety seats often come without important parts. Check with the manufacturer to make sure you can get the right parts.
  • The seat is a shield booster. Although shield boosters are still around, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against their use. Major injuries have occurred to children in shield boosters. The only time shield boosters should be used is if the shield is removed and the seat is used with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • The seat has a recall. You can find out by calling the manufacturer or by contacting the following:
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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Content provided by the Minnesota Safety Council, AAA Clubs of Minnesota, Safe Kids Minnesota and the
Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety.