Our children are our most precious cargo. When purchasing a Graco My Ride 65, or if you already own one of these car seats, it is imperative that you can locate and appreciate the importance of the Graco My Ride 65 expiration date as well as the safety and convenience features offered by this mid-priced car seat.
The most valuable cargo any parent will transport is his or her child. Parents depend on car seats to keep their children safe while traveling in their cars. The importance of the car seat for the protection of young children in the event of an automobile accident makes the selection of a car seat a matter of particular care. Most car seats on the market today, including the Graco My Ride 65, are readily convertible for use by infants as well as toddlers, extending the useful life of the seat. However, this does not mean that the Graco My Ride 65 will never have to be replaced. Of course, all car seats expire if they are involved in a car accident, but if there hasn’t been an impact, parents need to know how long their Graco My Ride 65 can be safely used. Conscientious parents will want to know the Graco My Ride 65 expiration date.
How Is the Expiration Date Determined?
Many people may believe that expiration dates are regulated by the federal government. However, while the government sets safety standards for car seats, it does not require an expiration date. Instead, the expiration dates are determined by the seat manufacturers themselves. Manufacturers determine an appropriate expiration date for their car seats based on the average useful life of the product considering several different factors. Graco has set the Graco My Ride 65 expiration date at six years from the date of manufacture.
Why Are Expiration Dates Important?
No one wants to intentionally put a child in a defective car seat, but if a car seat has no visible defects and works the same way it did on the day it was purchased, thrifty parents may wonder why they should spend their hard-earned money on a new one. While plastics theoretically have a useful lifespan of 10 years, many things can affect their strength, and over time, child restraints can become compromised in manners that are not readily apparent. Spilled drinks, crumbs, cleaners and other contaminants can weaken the integrity of the plastic that the frame of the seat is made from or interfere with the proper operation of one or more components of the car seat, and they can negatively impact its ability to protect a child in the event of an accident.
Another factor that warrants attention is that while manufacturers provide information detailing the appropriate use of a car seat on stickers affixed to the seat and in owner manuals, stickers may fall off or become obscured, and manuals are frequently lost. These eventualities make it difficult for manufacturers to ensure that their car seats are being used in the way that they intended. If a car seat is not being used correctly, the safety of the child may be compromised.
Even if there are no contaminants affecting a car seat’s frame, plastic naturally degrades over time and loses durability. Manufacturers are also concerned that car seats exposed to conditions such as the heat in a car parked in the sun may be further weakened and lose their integrity. When plastic degrades, it can warp or crack, causing it to fail under the high stress placed on components in an automobile accident. This can have catastrophic ramifications for families, and manufacturers may not be held responsible for injuries sustained in an expired car seat.
Finally, technological advances continue to be made, and government safety standards change over time. Car seats manufactured with today’s innovations are greatly improved over the best car seats produced 10 years ago. Likewise, car seats manufactured using the technology available a decade from today will be much improved over what is available right now. It is important to make sure that the car seats protecting children take advantage of all the available improvements. Also, older car seats may not meet current government safety standards.
How To Determine the Expiration Date of Your Graco My Ride 65
The easiest method for locating the expiration date is to find where the information is listed on the car seat itself. Graco puts the expiration date of its car seats on the bottom or back of the seat, providing the month and year the product should be retired. If this information is obscured, you can calculate the expiration date by adding the useful life of the car seat, as listed in the owner’s manual, to the date the product was manufactured. This information is also readily available by calling the manufacturer directly and will be provided to purchasers who have registered their car seat after purchase. Registration of the product is generally recommended regardless of the need to determine an expiration date so that owners can be notified of safety recalls or other events affecting the safety or usefulness of their car seat.
How To Dispose of Your Expired Car Seat?
Having determined that it is time to replace a car seat with a new model, it may be difficult to decide which method for disposing of the old one is suitable. It is important that the expired car seat be discarded in a manner that assures that it will not be used for another child. Many local police or fire departments offer programs offering to take expired car seats. A quick call can help resolve this dilemma easily. If this is not an available option, it is recommended that the car seat be rendered inoperable prior to disposal by removing the harness straps or slashing the seat padding.
What Features Does the Graco My Ride 65 Offer?
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The Graco My Ride 65 is offered at prices ranging from $90 to $120 and possesses several features that make it a popular choice among parents. Check out some of the advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of the Graco My Ride 65
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The Graco My Ride 65 was the first American-made car seat that is able to accommodate children weighing as much as 40 pounds in the rear-facing position, which the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated is the safest position for infants and toddlers. It is convertible to a forward-facing seat and, in that position, can accommodate children up to 65 pounds and 49 inches tall. Weight limits are conveniently listed on the harness straps. It offers a body support cushion and side impact protection that provide additional safeguards for infants.
The Graco My Ride 65 is able to make use of the LATCH system available in newer-model cars when the seat is being used in the forward-facing position and does not require a top tether. The car seat features color-coded flexible straps that attach to the vehicle’s lower anchors with a clip, making installation extremely straightforward. The installation straps are adjustable, and the seat provides a storage compartment to keep the components from getting lost when not in use. It is important to note, however, that Graco warns consumers that the LATCH system is not intended for use with children weighing over 45 pounds and should not be used if the vehicle’s anchors are fewer than 11 inches apart. Some vehicles further limit the use of this system to 40 pounds, so it is essential to check the vehicle owner’s manual to make sure the system is appropriate. For larger children, the seat belt installation is a safe and familiar alternative.
Disadvantages of the Graco My Ride 65
The Graco My Ride 65 weighs just under 15 pounds. While this may not seem particularly heavy, if you must carry the car seat any significant distance, such as through an airport, it will quickly become burdensome. Also, the Graco My Ride 65 comes with built-in cup holders, which is a nice feature but has the disadvantage of adding to the width of the seat, making it a less attractive option for families with multiple children to transport, particularly if more than one of those children is in a car seat. The tilt of the Graco My Ride 65 is not adjustable, which can interfere with forward-facing installation in some vehicles. The seat’s harness is only partially adjustable. When the seat is in the forward-facing position it must be removed so that the harness can be rethreaded through the higher slot as children outgrow the lower setting. Also, some users have reported difficulty removing the seat from the LATCH installation.
In July 2017, Graco’s Children Products issued a voluntary safety recall notice for some of its car seat models, including the Graco My Ride 65, to replace harness webbing that failed its strength test. When purchasing a Graco My Ride 65, it is advisable to make sure that this problem has been resolved.
The Graco My Ride 65 offers many safety and convenience features for a car seat in its price range, making it an attractive choice for parents. Its desirability is further enhanced by its ability to accommodate children weighing up to 65 pounds and extending the time that children can be transported in the rear-facing position. The Graco My Ride 65 expiration date is six years from the date of manufacture and can be found stamped on the bottom or back of the seat in an easy-to-read format.