If you are like most parents, you know how dangerous the road can be. Still, you have places you simply must go. When you leave the house, you often take your children with you. If they aren’t old enough or large enough to use your vehicle’s seat belts, you must invest in a car seat to keep them safe until you reach your destination.
Britax Marathon 70 car seats have been popular with parents for years. These seats provide a safe, comfortable way to transport your precious cargo. Did you know Britax Marathon 70 car seats expire, though? In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the expiration date of your Britax Marathon 70 car seat.
Continue reading to learn how to calculate your car seat’s expiration date and what to do when Marathon 70 expires.
What Is a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat?
The Britax Marathon 70 car seat is a convertible car seat. That is, you may install the seat in either a forward-facing or rear-facing application. For children weighing between five and 40 pounds, installing the seat in its rear-facing configuration is appropriate. Children between 41 and 70 pounds may ride in a forward-facing Britax Marathon 70 car seat. The seat is generally not appropriate for children who weigh more than 70 pounds. Also, the Marathon 70 is only suitable for kids who are under 49 inches tall, regardless of weight.
Protecting children during automobile collisions is a top priority for all parents. The Britax Marathon 70 does a good job at safeguarding the wellbeing of young passengers. The seat features innovative head, shoulder and back protection. This includes patent-pending SafeCell technology, reinforcing steel bars and revolutionary restraints to hold small riders in place during front-facing accidents.
The Marathon 70 also has side-impact protection.
Parents love the Britax Marathon 70 car seat for many reasons. In addition to its safety features, the seat offers a comfortable place for children to rest when they are on the road. It also comes in some elegant and fun designs. As such, the seat doesn’t take away from the overall styling of your vehicle.
When Does a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat Expire?
Every Britax car seat has a manufacturer’s label on it. This label tells you when the car seat was made. On the Britax Marathon 70, the label is either on the back of the seat or on one of the harnesses. You must remember that calculating the Marathon 70’s expiration date depends on counting forward from the seat’s manufacturing date, not the date you purchased the car seat. There may be a significant discrepancy between the two dates, so be sure you find the label and determine when the seat was manufactured.
As a convertible car seat, the Britax Marathon 70 has a lifespan of seven years. This is different than other Britax car seats. For example, infant seats have a useful life of six years and booster seats last for nine years.
Even though seven years is a long time, your Britax Marathon 70 car seat may expire before your child outgrows it. Also, Britax Marathon 70 car seats effectively expire when they are in moderate or serious collisions. Even if a post-wreck car seat looks fine, it may have sustained damage during an accident. Often, tiny cracks and other imperfections occur that are difficult to see. Continuing to use the seat after a wreck can be dangerous to your child.
Why Do Britax Marathon 70 Car Seats Expire?
When you shop for groceries, you likely pay close attention to the expiration dates on perishable items. This makes sense, as feeding your family expired produce or other foods can make your loved ones sick. Expiration dates on car seats work in much the same way. Seat manufacturers use them to keep your children safe on the road.
Unlike food, which tends to rot after its expiration date passes, expired car seats often look perfectly fine. Nonetheless, car seats can degrade over time. Since child restraints often live in parked cars, they experience extreme temperature swings. Hot and cold temperatures break down plastics and other materials found throughout your Marathon 70 car seat. While you may not notice any degradation, the seat may no longer be safe after its expiration date.
Safeguarding against degradation isn’t the only purpose of car seat expiration dates. As you likely know, safety standards change all the time. As technologies advance, older car seats may not be as safe as newer models. By assigning an expiration date to its Marathon 70 car seat, Britax ensures parents upgrade to modern seats periodically. This allows parents and children to benefit from new safety features.
Also, expiration dates help to take pre-owned car seats out of circulation. While this is nothing inherently wrong with strapping your child into a secondhand car seat, doing so could be a big mistake. Because you don’t know the history of pre-owned seats, you can’t be certain they have not survived moderate or severe collisions. Remember, car seat damage during automobile accidents is often imperceptible. Just because you can’t see cracks or stress fractures does not mean the car seat is safe to use. Unless you know the usage history of a car seat, it is best not to place your child in it. Because car seats have expiration dates, parents are less likely to rely on a hand-me-down seat.
What Should You Do With Your Expired Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat?
When your child’s Britax Marathon 70 car seat expires, you have a decision to make. The seat’s manufacturer suggests you discontinue using the seat. Of course, doing so is up to you. You may determine that the seat continues to be effective. Using an expired seat is likely to be better than not using a child restraint at all.
If you can, however, you should consider replacing your child’s Britax Marathon 70 car seat before it expires. When you are ready to purchase a replacement seat, you must think about your child’s weight and size. You may want to upgrade to a different convertible seat or booster if your child has grown considerably. If not, you may decide your Britax Marathon 70 expiration is a good time to buy a new Marathon 70 seat.
As a diligent parent, you want to be certain your expired car seat does not end up in another family’s vehicle. Often, expired car seats find their ways to secondhand stores. You can help retire your outdated car seat, though. We recommend taking the following five steps.
Destroy the webbing and cover. Other parents are unlikely to use a car seat that looks like it is in rough shape. When you are decommissioning your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat, cut out the webbing, padding and cover. Not only does this make the seat look bad, it makes it uncomfortable to sit in.
Cut through the harnesses. A car seat that is missing its restraints is unusable. When you are ready to retire your Britax Marathon 70 car seat, try to cut through the harnesses.
Black out the serial number. Car seats cannot pass inspection if they don’t have a readable serial number. Likewise, secondhand stores often refuse to sell seats that don’t have clear manufacturing information. By blacking out or removing the seat’s serial number, you decrease the likelihood that a thrift store will try to sell your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat.
Write “expired, do not use” on the seat. The best way to tell other parents that a car seat is expired is to write “expired, do not use” on the seat. Grab a black permanent marker and make the message as large and clear as you can.
Throw the seat in the garbage or take it to a recycling center. Finally, you can ensure your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat doesn’t find new life with another family by throwing it away or taking it to a recycling center. It can be tempting to drop old items off at a secondhand store. If a car seat has reached the end of its useful life, though, donating it is irresponsible.
Why Should You Not Ignore a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat Expiration Date?
For all parents, child safety is a top concern. Because expired Britax Marathon 70 car seats may have defects or outdated technology, you may put your young passengers at risk by ignoring expiration dates. Further, failing to properly dispose of an expired car seat may put other children at risk. Both are unacceptable.
Parents are busier than ever and keeping track of car seat expiration dates can be challenging. Fortunately, the task isn’t tough. Once you locate the date of manufacturing, you can likely set a digital reminder to encourage you to purchase a replacement seat. Remember, for peace of mind, you must be sure your child is properly strapped into a good car seat. You also must be certain the seat isn’t expired. With a bit of effort, you can likely accomplish both goals.