September is Baby Safety Month - Read here for Car Seat Safety Tips!

September is Baby Safety Month, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This year, JPMA is helping educate parents and caregivers on the safe selection and use of juvenile products, while encouraging those around us to become safety ambassadors. You can check out THIS VIDEO on their site for some tips and tricks to make sure you create a safe environment for your baby.

Did you know puffy winter coats are NOT safe for your baby to wear in a car seat?!

BuckleMe Car Seat Coat

Our dear friend and fellow Mom-Inventor Dahlia Rizk at BuckleMe Baby Coats takes car seat safety to the next level.   Dahlia (a fellow Shark Tank veteran) invented a line of outerwear for babies through toddlerhood that are designed specifically for use in a car seat.  Pre-order one of this year's new designs so you're ready for the coming winter. (She also has super functional, adorable, and long-lasting jammies now too!)  

BuckleMe Jammies

Here are some more car seat safety facts you should know, from Dahlia:

Car seats get put through a lot and they are EXPENSIVE (especially when you have more than one kid)! It’s so tempting to "borrow" outgrown seats from friends and family but it might be really unsafe.

Here are the things to check and know before using a car seat that isn't brand new: 

Car seats typically expire 6 to 10 years after the date of manufacture.

Find the sticker with the manufacturing date on your car sat (usually its on the back or bottom of the seat or sometimes its printed directly on the plastic in raised lettering). Once you find the manufacturing date check your owner’s manual for how long the car seat is good for (most are 7 years) and do a little math to find your car seats expiration date.

Why do car seats expire?

Car seats are made of petroleum-based plastics which a strong, reliable material for child restraints that can degrade over time from environmental factors (think sun exposure, extreme temperature changes, movement in the car, food and drink spills, and cleaning solutions). Safety standards also change over time and changing regulations dictate the way car seats are designed and created. Car seats are also subject to recalls and older seats may have been unknowingly recalled before passing down.

 Tip: You can find a list that’s regularly updated with all the current recalls HERE

If it turns out a seat happens to be expired, don’t throw it in the dumpster or give it to Goodwill where it may get used again.

We recommend cutting the straps, slicing the fabric, and writing EXPIRED- DO NOT USE on it before disposing of it.

Car Seat

Pro Tip: Once a year Target, Wal-Mart and other baby stores have car seat days where you can bring in expired car seats for credit towards a new product!

The next Target Car Seat Trade-In happens this month from September 11-24!

Final Thoughts: Even if it isn't expired never buy a car seat online, at a garage sale or flea market or anyone you don't know. Car seats can only be in one crash safely and have to be replaced and destroyed after a crash. If you don't know the car seats history it's not a safe option for your little one.

Dahlia Rizk is a Child Passenger Safety Technician, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and mom of three raising her kids in snowy New Hampshire. She invented Buckle Me Baby Car Seat Coats so parents have a fast and easy way to buckle their little ones in the car seat without the struggle of taking coats off. Shop now and follow Buckle Me Baby Coats on Instagram.

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