Your children are the most important cargo you will ever put inside your vehicle. As you likely know, unrestrained young riders are susceptible to injuries during automobile collisions. Unfortunately, the stock restraints in your car are likely insufficient to adequately protect your kids. With the right car seat or booster, you can be certain all your passengers are as safe as possible until you reach your destination.
If you are a parent or caregiver, you likely have a car seat in your vehicle. Still, if you aren’t properly using the seat, it may not do what it is supposed to do. Even worse, misuse can turn an otherwise excellent child restraint into a hazard. Your best bet is to thoroughly read through your child’s car seat owner’s manual. Remember, this information is seat-specific and generally not universal. The manufacturer includes the manual to tell you specifically how to install and use the chair. It also reveals the potential hazards you should avoid.
In this article, we provide additional information about an important topic: the expiration date of your Evenflo car seat. Since using a safety chair longer that the manufacturer intended is potentially dangerous, you must pay special attention to the lifespan of the seat. Simply put, you must discontinue using an Evenflo car seat when it reaches the end of its useful life.
What Is an Evenflo Car Seat?
As a company, Evenflo has been around for about a century. During this time, it has provided parents with a variety of products to help them successfully care for their children. Safety restraint chairs are some of the most popular products the company sells. When used properly, these chairs protect children from the dangers of traveling in cars, trucks, planes and trains.
Evenflo has several models of safety chairs available for purchase. These include infant seats, toddler seating, convertible chairs and boosters. Evenflo infant car seats are designed for rear-facing use. You may use convertible seating in either rear-facing or front-facing applications. Boosters have either integrated harnesses or extra height to help your child reach your vehicle’s existing restraints. Finally, all-in-one seats start as regular car seats and graduate into boosters when your child grows. Which chair is right for your child largely depends on his or her size. You may also need to think about your driving style and your vehicle’s restraints to determine which device you should purchase to secure your young passengers.
Being a new parent is tough. You aren’t, however, alone. Your child’s pediatrician may have extensive literature about choosing the best car restraint. Because you live in the digital age, you can also probably take advantage of advice and information on mommy blogs and other sites. Rather than risking the health and safety of your child, however, rely on external resources to find the perfect car seat for your precious cargo.
How Do Evenflo Car Seats Work?
The seats and seatbelts in your vehicle weren’t made for young riders. If your child is short or weighs fewer than 120 pounds, you can’t expect your car’s safety features to keep him or her safe on the road. Instead, you must invest in a car seat.
All Evenflo safety chairs work by restraining your child inside your vehicle. As you likely know, when you are driving at any speed, your young passengers are susceptible to injury. Injuries can occur during collisions, acceleration, braking or turns. Likewise, unrestrained children can be a distraction, making you an unsafe driver. With an Evenflo car seat, you know your child is likely to stay securely in place until you arrive at your destinations.
How Evenflo restraint systems work, however, depends on the style of the car seat. Some seats hold tiny riders in place when they are in your vehicle. Others give older children a boost so that they can properly use the seatbelts and other safety features already in your car. Since all Evenflo seats are designed to meet basic safety standards, you can be virtually certain they will perform as advertised if you use them properly.
How Do You Properly Use an Evenflo Car Seat?
As a parent, you must take great care to keep your child safe every time you leave the driveway. Because all models of Evenflo safety chairs are different, you must refer to the user’s manual to determine how to use it properly. By installing the seat correctly, you know its safety features are likely to work as they should.
Remember, there is no general process for installing a car seat. Because all chairs are different, you must research and understand specific installation procedures. If you are having difficulty understanding the owner’s manual, you can likely watch online videos to be certain you are properly installing you’re the unit. If you still have questions after reading through the owner’s manual and watching online videos, check out the company’s extensive FAQs at www.evenflo.com.
Properly using an Evenflo car seat, though, is about more than merely installing the chair and strapping in your child correctly. You must be aware of the seat’s limitations. Specifically, you must only use your safety seat when your child is the prescribed weight and size for the chair. Placing a child who is either too small or too large in a restraining seat can be dangerous. Also, you must discontinue using the car seat when it reaches the end of its effective life.
When Do Evenflo Car Seats Expire?
Your child’s Evenflo car seat has a label on it that tells you exactly when the seat left the factory. This is the assembly date. On most chairs, the label is on the back, although it may be on the bottom or side of your seat. Take the chair out of your vehicle and turn it around. You should be able to quickly and easily find the label. While it has other details on it, the label clearly identifies the manufacture’s date.
Generally, Evenflo car seats expire six years after they were made. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. The Evenflo Symphony line of seats has an eight-year lifespan. The extra two years allowed with Symphony chairs comes from the design of the unit. That is, Symphony seats are designed to grow with your child. After using a Symphony restraining chair as a regular car seat, you can convert it into a booster that accommodates older and larger children.
Additionally, two other styles of Evenflo car seats also have eight-year lifespans. These are the Evenflo Transitions and Evenflo 3-in-1 car seats. Like the Evenflo Symphony models, these seats are made to accommodate children as they grow. If you no longer have the box your child’s restraint system came in, you may not remember which model you purchased. Fortunately, all Evenflo seats have clear labeling that identifies the model name. If the restraint in your vehicle says Symphony, Transitions or Evolve 3-in-1, you can plan to use the seat for up to eight years from its manufacturing date. For all other Evenflo car seats, you must discontinue use after six years.
Why Should You Not Ignore a Car Seat’s Expiration Date?
All parents are busy, and missing important dates is common. One date you cannot afford to forget, however, is the expiration date on your child’s car seat.
Like all safety systems, Evenflo seats go through rigorous testing. This is important, as it reveals to the manufacturer any potential future hazards. It also helps the company communicate information to its customers about properly using the car seats it sells. Unfortunately, many parents gloss over details about the useful lifespan of their car seat. This is a mistake.
When Evenflo tests its chairs, it uses certain information as a starting point. Part of this information is how long materials last before they begin to degrade. As you probably know, virtually nothing lasts forever. This is particularly true for plastics and other materials that make up your child’s restraint. Over time, these materials may become less safe than they once were.
Additionally, using a secondhand car seat can be problematic. When you purchase a new Evenflo seat, you know exactly what it has been through. Buying a pre-owned seat, however, leaves you in the dark. For example, you may not know if the previous owner used the chair properly. Misuse, of course, can weaken a car seat. Also, you likely can’t know of any automobile accidents the unit has survived. While the seat may look fine, it could have sustained damage that renders it incapable of fully protecting your child. Listing an expiration date on its car seats helps Evenflo discourage parents from using secondhand seats.
Either way, if you use a car seat longer than its intended life, you just can’t trust it to continue to protect your child. Simply put, your child’s life is too important to ignore the expiration date on his or her Evenflo car seat. Instead, you must clearly identify the car seat expiration date and purchase a new seat before that date arrives.