Today I answer the burning question: do strollers expire? This is a topical issue especially among parents who are big on frugality. Who doesn’t like deals? We all want to know if purchasing a used stroller for our little one is out of the question or not. And believe me, there are plenty of good second-hand strollers on the market. But are they safe?
I’m going to answer this question by giving you facts coming straight from the horse’s mouth, aka the manufacturers! Yes, who better to give you the answers you need than the people who designed the strollers in the first place?
This question came up for me when my sister offered us her stroller to use for my daughter. Let’s discuss what I found after conducting my mini research on the topic so you can make an informed decision.
Why Manufacturers’ Expiry Date is Important on Baby Gear
Expiry dates are crucial especially on baby products and for one reason only: safety. These dates are important guidelines signifying whether a product is safe to use or consume. That’s why you’ll find expiry dates on all sorts of baby gear and products from baby foods to lotions and car seats.
With things such as baby lotions and creams, the products contain key ingredients and sometimes fragrances. And these ingredients start to fade over time losing their effectiveness and potentially harming your child. Irritations and allergic reactions may result after using expired creams.
Moving on to foods, you don’t need an expert to tell you how consuming expired foods can possibly impact your baby’s health negatively. Stomach problems and in some cases, food poisoning may result. I don’t need to remind you how extremely sensitive our little ones’ tummies are.
Then we have products like car seats. While they don’t contain ingredients that will spoil over time, the unit’s integrity and structure is compromised after a while. This is mainly as a result of wear and tear. However, some car seats expire when units with better technology and safety features are introduced.
Whatever the case, it’s advisable to stop using the product altogether, swap it in for a better model in the case of recalls or simply purchase a new one.
What Manufacturers’ Say About Expiry Dates on Strollers
So what exactly do manufacturers have to say about expiry dates on strollers? One thing is for certain, there’s no blanket process regarding setting expiration dates. Manufacturers set the dates as they see fit. In the case of most baby gear, it’s because the product would have reached its manufacturer’s testing limits.
But to answer your question, according to most manufacturers, expiry dates don’t apply to strollers. What they do have are age, weight, and height restrictions. So if your little one exceeds the recommended age or weight, it’s in your baby’s safety interests to let go of the product.
Also, strollers come with warranties designed to cover certain components as opposed to ruling out the product completely. This is because stroller parts don’t age much since they aren’t exposed to extreme temperature variations or sunlight. As a result, the parts are likely to be intact even after years provided you handle the unit with care.
But that’s where car seats differ. While they aren’t also exposed to temperature variations, car seats have a life and death aspect in case of accidents. This is due to the high speeds involved when traveling by car. Using physics terms, the potential damage is proportional to the speed squared.
For this reason, purchasing a second-hand car seat for your little one isn’t recommended. But you can go ahead and purchase a second-hand stroller for your child. Make sure you gather the relevant information regarding the stroller’s history. Has it been recalled before? Have a look at this video discussing safety risks associated with strollers previously recalled..
Also, inspect the stroller for broken, loose or missing parts before making a purchase.
Do Travel Systems Expire?
And what of travel systems? While strollers don’t have an expiry date, the same can’t be said about car seats and bases. In short, they do expire. Here are what prominent manufacturers have to say on the matter – here I summarized the information behind the links:
- Baby Trend EZ Ride 35 Travel System: you shouldn’t use the infant car seat and base 6 years after its date of manufacture
- EVENFLO Folio 3 Stroll & Jog Travel System: the car seat can be used for a maximum of 6 years (counted from the date of manufacture)
In the event that you fail to find the date of manufacture on the seat, feel free to either read the instruction manual or visit the manufacturer’s website for accurate information.
For How Long Can I Use My Stroller?
So how long can you use your stroller given the fact that they don’t expire? The answer is in two parts. You can stop using it when your little one reaches the age of three. Or, when your little one exceeds the stipulated height, weight, and age restrictions.
What about in the case where you want to hand down the stroller to your upcoming baby? Will it still be safe to use? Generally, second-hand strollers that are designed after 2015 are considered safe to use infinitely. This is because strollers designed from this time adhere to the strictest safety standards where stability and impact protection are concerned.
For as long as the stroller is in good condition, sturdy with no loose screws or bolts, and offers a smooth ride, then you should be fine. Be sure to take your little one for a quick spin around the block to ascertain that the stroller is indeed functioning as it should.
What Can I Do With My Stroller When My Child Outgrows It?
Does the thought of parting with your baby’s stroller after your little one has outgrown it steal some of your joy? It’s understandable given that most strollers don’t come cheap. Not to mention the hours you dedicated to choosing the perfect stroller. Don’t despair. To get value for your money you can either:
- Keep it for baby number two or three.
- Gift it to a loved one.
- Donate it to the less fortunate.
- Sell it on eBay! (It’s allowed to get a few pennies back for it). You can use the money to buy your child something else he needs!
Hopefully, I’ve answered your question: do strollers expire? The short and sweet answer is NO! Whether you’re a thrifty dad in need of a good second-hand stroller for your kid, looking to keep it for your next child, or wanting to give it to a friend, feel free to do so. It’s perfectly okay.
If you have a stroller, you might have a baby carrier, too – it’s hard not being able to justify a baby carrier’s usefulness in terms of ease of use on all terrain. But did you know that baby carriers might have expirations? And what about car seat bases?