Ask Andy: Broken/expired child safety seats - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Broken/expired child safety seats

If your children have grown out of their car safety seats -- or if those seats are about to expire -- do NOT re-sell them or attempt to recycle them.

Safety experts like Susan Helms of Safe Kids Mid-South, the child safety arm of Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center (, say the rule is you should never sell or buy used or expired child safety seats (look for expiration dates on the sides or bottoms of the seats). 

Buyers simply don't know where they've been, whether they're defective or if they've been in an accident.

Helms says the general rule is the seats are effective for six years, as long as they have not been in an accident.

After six years, you must destroy them and discard them.  They are not recyclable.

Helms says first, CUT THE STRAPS OFF THE SEAT. That renders the seat useless in case someone goes 'dumpster-diving' for it, and it eliminates a potential choking hazard if a kid gets his hands on it.

PUT IT IN A LARGE, BLACK OUTDOOR GARBAGE BAG. You can't see through it, can't identify what's in it without tearing it open, so that will hide the fact that there's a safety seat inside it.

Then put the garbage bag into either a DUMPSTER that you have legal access to or YOUR TRASH RECEPTACLE provided by your garbage collection company.

Don't leave the seat sitting curbside, even if it's inside the garbage bag. Hide it inside your collection container. 

You don't want it getting into anyone else's hands.

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