Thursday, May 13, 2010
7 News Investigations: Expired Safety
Car seats are expensive and a lot of people pass them down to help new parents save money, but what many don't realize is they may be passing down Expired Safety.
WSVN -- You check your milk, orange juice even your bread for an expiration date, but have you ever checked your child's car seat?
Bill Manzie: "I am very surprised. I didn't think a car seat would expire. I had no idea."
These dads are not alone, most parents we spoke to thought their car seats were safe, but according to most manufacturers, the seats have a life span of six years because car seats can fail if they are kept too long and it can be even more dangerous here in South Florida. Our extreme heat can cause plastic components to start to break down.
Trooper Nelvys Hernandez: "In South Florida we have temperatures sometimes of 104 degrees."
The heat can cause critical parts to crack and even though you can't see the damage it can prove deadly.
Trooper Nelvys Hernandez: "They really don't know the consequences."
This video on you tube has been passed around among parenting groups. It shows how straps failed on a 10-year-old car seat during a crash test in England.
Michele Cabrera: "I assumed if they looked, if they're in good condition and still functioning that they're still good to use."
Michele Cabrera manages a child care center in Hollywood. She keeps extra car seats on hand to loan to parents in need, but was shocked to learn three of them are not considered safe.
This car seat was manufactured on February 28th 2004 that means it just expired in February of this year.
This one was manufactured on the October 3rd 2003 that means it expired in October of last year, and this one has a manufacture date of October 1998 so it expired six years ago.
Mother: "Well we're going to throw away these car seats and make sure that the parents are aware of it."
Father: "I have a booster for my oldest and a regular car seat for my youngest."
This dad was relieved to learn his kid's seat won't expire until 2015 but he still has concerns.
Father: "We actually have one that my daughter had that my mom uses for him, so now I have to check the expiration date on it."
Safety experts say you always have to check the manufacturing date which is usually found on a label at the bottom of the seat.
Kyril Monts: "This seat was manufactured in November the 25th of 2009."
Shatigra Mcrae is expecting her third child. She just bought this car seat and was planning on passing down the seat she used on her first two kids until she learned about the expiration dates.
Shatigra Mcrae: "I'm going to throw them away and get new ones because I really don't want anything to happen to my children."
Lynn Martinez: "So parents check your car seats you don't want to take a chance on Expired Safety."