Car seats are designed to accommodate your household’s youngest passengers, making sure that they are as safe as possible while on the road. However, did you know that just like helmets and other safety equipment, car seats have a shelf life? Most car seats are constructed from plastic, which is a very safe, durable material, but over time, that plastic weakens. Extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures and everyday use can speed up the degradation process. On top of that, car seat technology is always improving, so if your child is using an eight-year-old seat, you’re not taking advantage of the newest innovations.
In the state of Nevada, children under the age of six should be secured in a child restraint system, such as a rear-facing infant seat, a forward-facing convertible seat, or a booster seat, that has been approved by the United States Department of Transportation. Between ages six and twelve, a child should use a booster seat to ensure that the car’s seat belt fits them correctly. Failing to follow these guidelines can result in a hefty fine, and you may be required to complete hours of community service.
Most car seats have expiration dates imprinted directly onto them, but if yours does not, it should be replaced after six years of use, possibly even sooner if the car seat is used every day, is regularly transferred between vehicles, or you drive on rougher terrain. If you are in a very minor car accident, meaning that no damage to your vehicle is sustained, no one is injured, and the airbags didn’t deploy, you can safely continue to use the car seat. However, if you’re in a major accident, the car seat should be replaced, even if your child wasn’t in it at the time of the collision.
Car seats save hundreds of lives every year, but they’re only effective when they’re in good condition and are installed correctly.
To ensure that your car seat meets Nevada’s guidelines, click the button below to find a local inspection center.
Get Your Car Seat Inspected
Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you. Certified technicians will inspect your car seat, in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it.