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Photo: Target

 

Did you know that car seats have an expiration date? Yep, that vessel carrying your most precious cargo may no longer be the safest option out there, so it’s important to do some inspecting. You can find the expiration date on the seat itself or in the owner’s manual, or you can call the manufacturer. The average lifespan of a car seat is six years.

 

If you do find out you’re holding onto a car seat that’s past its “best by” date, or if your kid has outgrown a seat and you no longer need it, don’t just toss the old thing. Instead, from April 22 through May 5, you can bring your unwanted car seat to any Target location and trade it in for a coupon for 20 percent off a new car seat or stroller. Target will hand over the used seats to Waste Management, which recycles the parts so they don’t end up in landfills.

 

When you get to the store, head to the drop-off box located near Guest Services, and an employee will give you your coupon, which can be used in-store or online through May 19. It can go toward one car seat, booster seat, car seat base, travel system or stroller. (Perhaps you’d like a rugged jogger or a stroller that folds up into a shoulder bag and weighs a measly 9.5 pounds?) The trade-in event happens once a year, so if you’ve got a car seat you need to get rid of, this could be a good opportunity to get it out of storage and find something you can really use.