Of course, it’s important to make savings wherever you can – but you should never compromise on safety. The condition of your child’s car safety seat can greatly influence the consequences of a collision for your child. But how long does a brand-new child restraint system actually last? Does material fatigue come into play even with something like a car safety seat?
We all know that nothing lasts forever. CYBEX car seats, however, are designed to provide your child with unlimited safety for at least the entire period of use specified for that particular age group. The car seats for babies and toddlers can even be used for a sibling.
More specifically, this means:
Group 0+ (birth to 18 months) = 1.5 years
The infant carriers from CYBEX (Cloud Q, Aton Q, Aton M, Aton 5 and ATON) can be used for a second child. , i.e. up to a maximum of 7 years.
Group 0+/1 (birth to 4 years) = 4 years
Our combination and reboard seats such as our CYBEX Sirona can also be used for an additional child, e.g. a younger sibling. The maximum permissible period of use is 8 years from its first installation in a car.
Group 1 (approx. 9 months to 4 years) = approx. 4 years
The Juno 2-fix, our specialist in meeting the needs of children in this age group, can likewise be used for an additional child and a second period, i.e. for a maximum of 7 years.
Group 1/2/3 (approx. 9 months to 12 years) = approx. 11 years
Seats that grow with the child such as the Pallas M-fix, Pallas M, Pallas 2-fix and Pallas-fix meet the safety criteria of several groups and can thus be used right up until the child is no longer required by law to use a child restraint system (up to a height of 150 cm). After such a long period (around 11 years), during which the seat has provided your child with maximum protection and comfort in all situations, it is fair to say that the seat should not be used a second time, e.g. for a younger sibling.
Group 2/3 (approx. 3 to 12 years) = approx. 9 years
The child safety seats designed for older children, including Solution Q3-fix and Solution M-fix, should not be used for more than 9 years.
The time periods given are based on the date of purchase. After this point in time, the seats are exposed to great fluctuations in temperature and high levels of light intensity in the car. This triggers ageing and fatigue, even in high-quality, age and temperature resistant materials and plastics, such as those used by CYBEX. To ensure the safety of your child, we strongly recommend that the seats are not used for longer that the prescribed usage periods.
Why are used and old seats so dangerous?
Over time and particularly in a collision, hairline cracks can form in the shell of the seat. These signs of wear and tear can barely be seen with the naked eye yet continue to grow through continued usage. A seemingly harmless crack can suddenly lead to complete material failure. This can happen spontaneously in a car crash due to the immense forces to which the seat is exposed to impact. Alternatively, these tiny cracks may grow unnoticeably due to constant use, exposure to sunlight or other factors that have a negative effect on the material over time.
This is why you should only ever use second-hand seats that are no older than 6 years, whose origin is known (e.g. from siblings, relatives or good friends) and have never been involved in an accident of any sort, even minor. A used seat must function equally as well as a brand-new one and should always fit both your child and car properly. Otherwise, it cannot offer your child sufficient protection.
Our blog contains lots of other interesting information about child safety when on the road: