How to Read a Child Restraint’s Manufacture Date Stamp
The majority of child restraints will have car seat date stamp on their shell showing its date of manufacture and/or expiry date. The location will vary, you may need to look closely for these. This article will teach you how to read a date stamp.
There is more than one version of a date stamp. We’re going to show you a common version of a date of manufacture clock which gives you the month, day and year a child restraint was manufactured.
Reading Car Seat Manufacture Date
Here is a picture of a date stamp on a restraint.
I always find it easiest to start with figuring out what the month is as this clock face is the most obvious – it has the numbers 1-12 around it (12 months in a year – pretty easy!).
Reading Month on Car Seat Date Stamp
Whenever you see a clock stamp with the numbers 1 to 12 around its face, this is the clock showing which month it was manufactured.
This one here points to the number 8 so it was manufactured in August.
Reading Day on Car Seat Date Stamp
The day is often shown by a clock face with just some of the numbers exposed at intervals, the rest are indicated by markers.
This one here points to 27 so we know the restraint was manufactured on 27 August.
Reading Year on Car Seat Date Stamp
The final clock stamp shows a range of numbers that can look random but usually indicate a range of years to consider. This one is a little hard to read – it shows us a set of numbers starting at 14 and finishing at 19, in other words, 2014-2019.
The arrow is pointing to the 18, in other words, 2018. So that completes the puzzle.
This car seat was manufactured on the 27th of August 2018.
Car Seat Expiry Date
When reading these date stamps, to figure out a car seat expiry date you need to know how long the car seat’s lifespan is. If this restraint has a 6-year lifespan, then you add 6 to the year 2018.
This makes its expiry date 27 August 2024.
Find Out Car Seat Lifespans
To find out what a restraint’s lifespan is, firstly check our Car Seat Lifespan list. If yours isn’t listed, you can make contact with us to see if we can give you the information you need. Otherwise, you can contact the local distributor of the child restraint. Tell them the make and model of the restraint and they should be able to advise you of its lifespan. Don’t make the assumption that all models of restraints manufactured by one brand will have the same lifespan – this is not necessarily the case.
Feel free to message us at SitTight and if we can’t tell you your child restraint’s lifespan, we can tell you which distributor brought your car seat into NZ and how to contact them.
If you have an expired seat and are not sure how to dispose of it, there is an organisation in New Zealand, called SeatSmart, who do this for you. They have drop off locations throughout the country. You’ll find all the info you need on their website, www.seatsmart.co.nz.
The date stamp we’ve shown you is just one version – but it does tend to be one of the more complicated so it’s helpful to know how to read this one. Others can be easier to understand and at times have more information such as the expiry date. But knowing how to read this common date stamp is a good starting point.
If you need any information clarified or have other questions about car seat law in New Zealand, you’re always welcome to make contact with us at SitTight. We can answer your question about the correct, safe and legal use of child restraints. Or you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
If you would like to have a child restraint technician check or install your seat for you, let us know or follow this link to find your local CRT.