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  1. #1
    Admin - Webmaster Admin's Avatar
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    Car Seat Lifespan, Expiration Dates and Used Car Seats

    Looking for information on using an older car seat or secondhand one?

    Please read about some possible safety concerns at CarseatBlog: https://carseatblog.com/carseatexpiration/
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  3. #2
    TomNYC
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    Re: Car Seat Lifespan, Expiration Dates and Used Car Seats

    NPR's Marketplace is running a very interesting piece that, frankly, makes this site and anybody else who worships at the altar of car seat expiration look pretty bad. Any response? Or data?

    https://www.marketplace.org/2019/11/14/is-there-any-data-that-says-secondhand-car-seats-arent-safe/

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Looking for information on using an older car seat or secondhand one?

    Please read about some possible safety concerns at CarseatBlog: https://carseatblog.com/carseatexpiration/
    Last edited by Admin; 12-04-2019 at 05:50 PM.

  4. #3
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seat Lifespan, Expiration Dates and Used Car Seats

    Quote Originally Posted by TomNYC View Post
    NPR's Marketplace is running a very interesting piece that, frankly, makes this site and anybody else who worships at the altar of car seat expiration look pretty bad. Any response? Or data?
    What response would you like? Without significant cost and research with crash testing, it can't be proven either way. Like many conspiracy theories, it would likely never be proven or disproven to the satisfaction of those making claims on either side. Could expiration dates be arbitrary? Could they just be for liability reasons? Could car seats last longer? Sure. Are there risks involved in using an expired secondhand carseat with an unknown history? Also, Yes.

    The data you want could also come from the author, who, instead of making unsubstantiated insinuations, could have taken a statistically significant number of USA-certified car seats that are well beyond the expiration date and then subjected them to typical crash forces on a crash test sled and then a second time to see if there is any difference in performance compared to a new model or if any samples exhibited breakage. Yes, this costs money, but we're not talking about plastic patio furniture here, we're talking about due diligence in regard to a safety device designed to protect a child. We're also not talking about the longevity of one specific part, such as the plastic shell material or harness straps or metal frame only. We're talking about the integrity of the entire product that is necessary to protect the child during peak crash forces that can can occur in an impulse of tens of milliseconds along with the labels, parts and instructions necessary for it to be used correctly.

    If an author or researcher is genuinely concerned about safety of children when making such allegations in a book sold for profit, isn't the burden of proof upon them? Scientific method could and should have been used by the author to test their own hypothesis, rather than implying it is some industry wide cover-up and indirectly encouraging others to take possible risks with their babies because the author couldn't find any existing research by sending out a questionnaire. Car crashes are among the top few killers of kids at that age, so it seems a sensible to take this next step, don't you think?

    One could also ask if the author (or really anyone who believes this is some grand conspiracy) actually uses crashed, expired car seats for their own infants. We know from past experience that researchers profiting on books with related claims did not put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, at least not with their own children. Honestly, if I was making a claim like this for a book, I'd have started with visits to UMTRI, CHOP, NHTSA and IIHS here in the USA and talked to the independent researchers there in person, rather than rely upon mailed questionnaires to child safety seat manufacturers. Even if they didn't have data and also did not have any references for more information, they could have explained scientific method and how it could be used to answer the question.

    Hey, if you or the author are willing to fund the necessary research for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, I'm also very interested in the results. Heck, bring me on as a consultant! It would be great to save parents money, save the environment AND save lives, IF the author is right.
    Last edited by SafeDad; 12-03-2019 at 02:03 PM.


  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Car Seat Lifespan, Expiration Dates and Used Car Seats

    Yeah, I’m not sure it makes us look bad, it is mostly talking about large companies and their policies. I am not sure why someone would want to seriously argue against best practice when there are so many child fatalities in vehicles in this country. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    The author seems to be trying to argue that our used seats are better than nothing in countries where few people can afford new seats. That, to me, is a whole different issue than whether car seats should expire.
    -Reta
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    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer, Boulevard G4, and SureRide
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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  7. #5
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seat Lifespan, Expiration Dates and Used Car Seats

    Quote Originally Posted by MelodyoftheForest View Post
    Yeah, I’m not sure it makes us look bad, it is mostly talking about large companies and their policies. I am not sure why someone would want to seriously argue against best practice when there are so many child fatalities in vehicles in this country. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    The author seems to be trying to argue that our used seats are better than nothing in countries where few people can afford new seats. That, to me, is a whole different issue than whether car seats should expire.
    Right- a secondhand or expired carseat in fair condition is certainly safer than nothing at all. I doubt there is any disagreement at all there from any advocates or experts.

    There is also no question that a secondhand carseat with unknown history has potential risks compared with a new one, all clearly outlined in the article linked in the first post.

    Whether or not there is some conspiracy to cover up evidence about expiration dates is an amusing question. I'd also like to know the answer if the author ever attempts to prove it. I think a questionnaire mailed to manufacturers, a conversation with a retailer spokesperson, an FAQ entry from car-safety.org (that indicates it hasn't been updated since 2017), a 10-year old post from a parent on this forum and an email from a Swedish researcher are woefully inadequate in terms of research and absolutely meaningless in terms of proof. I mean, it's great stuff to hype on the internet or TV in order to start a conversation or promote book sales. On the other hand, to actually believe it and then promote it to other parents to use on their children deserves some professional investigative reporting and actual research.
    Last edited by SafeDad; 12-03-2019 at 02:07 PM.

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