Are old car seats safe?

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  • #2
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Which way are we meant to be looking at this?

I really dislike the way people look at safe/unsafe as a black and white thing becuase you are always comparing it to something else. Safer than or less safe than is a better question.

Are old car seats 'unsafe'? ie They will have a 100% certainty of failure- Probably not.
Are they less safe than a new one? - Yes.

As much as plastic does degrade under UV etc it will likely have been designed structurally to end of life values. So using it significantly beyond it's life will make it less safe, but 5 years seems like pure marketing to me.
 
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  • #3
AlephZero
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The article seems fair enough. How they are fitted and used (including the past usage history), and whether it is suitable for the size and weight of the child, is just as important as the brand name on the seat or its age.

But in the US, if you can't sue somebody when you kill your kid because of your own poor driving, I guess that means "the seat isn't safe".
 
  • #4
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Yet I, as a child, "somehow" survived the nonexistence of car seats when we were kids in the 60s, and utterly intact. My parent's were very cautious drivers.

That doesn't change the fact that some drivers out there aren't cautious at all.
 
  • #5
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Yet I, as a child, "somehow" survived the nonexistence of car seats when we were kids in the 60s, and utterly intact.
Bet you didn't even have belts in the rear seats.
 
  • #6
DavidSnider
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Yet I, as a child, "somehow" survived the nonexistence of car seats when we were kids in the 60s, and utterly intact. My parent's were very cautious drivers.

That doesn't change the fact that some drivers out there aren't cautious at all.
People "somehow" survived without antibiotics. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea.
 
  • #7
It can be safe if you check the sit if its hold strong enough. But for me "no". I wouldn't ever trust an old car seats.
 
  • #8
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People "somehow" survived without antibiotics. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea.
Not entirely sure you got the point there.
 
  • #9
cobalt124
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I don't need to read the article. I wouldn't buy a secondhand anything from anyone I didn't know and trust where a childs safety is an issue. Any environmental consideration would be ignored.

Roads are far busier and faster now so I would say the safety issue is more important than in the past.
 
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  • #10
AlephZero
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I wouldn't buy a secondhand anything from anyone I didn't know and trust where a childs safety is an issue.
That's not a very rational position to take.

Was your house built entirely from new, and only by people you knew and trusted? Is the same true for everything in your house that might possibly harm your kids? Do you only feed them with food grown by people you know and trust? Getting closer to car seats, was your car built (and is it maintained) only by people you know and trust?

It is possible the answers to all those questions are "yes", but most kids get along just fine without such paranoia. In fact they may be better off learning how to evaluate risks for themselves (and making a few non-fatal mistakes along the way) rather than living in an artificial bubble.
 
  • #11
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To be honest, although most second hand car seats are totally fine, rationally I know this. I'd buy new.

It's just one of those things.
 
  • #12
cobalt124
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That's not a very rational position to take.

Was your house built entirely from new, and only by people you knew and trusted? Is the same true for everything in your house that might possibly harm your kids? Do you only feed them with food grown by people you know and trust? Getting closer to car seats, was your car built (and is it maintained) only by people you know and trust?

It is possible the answers to all those questions are "yes", but most kids get along just fine without such paranoia. In fact they may be better off learning how to evaluate risks for themselves (and making a few non-fatal mistakes along the way) rather than living in an artificial bubble.
Yes, it's probably not rational, and I'm lucky to have the money to make that choice with a car seat, for example. Where I don't have the money, buying a house under those criteria for instance, I'm forced to be rational, as with food, as with our car. I didn't mean to come across all principled and paranoid there, just that that was the choice we made for car seats. "Anything" would apply to anything we could afford in this case. Sloppy language from me.
 

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