Starting Sunday, the Target on Golden Valley Road is recognizing Baby Safety Month by recycling car seats.
Shoppers will be able to bring expired or unwanted car seats into the store for recycling. They will then receive a 20-percent off coupon for a new car seat, car seat base, travel system or stroller, according to the store’s corporate website.
The program is taking place Sept. 9-22 in honor of Baby Safety Month, which is sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a trade group for the baby products industry.
“The Target program and programs like this are important,” said Joseph Colella, director of child passenger safety for the the association. “Generally, advocates do not recommend using secondhand car seats. There may be damaged parts that the owner may not notice.”
The car-seat trade-in program started in April 2016. More than 306,000 car seats have been recycled — equaling more than 4.6 million pounds of materials, according to Target’s website.
The company partnered with Waste Management to recycle parts from the car seats. “They’ll turn the car seats into new products like pallets and plastic buckets, as well as construction materials like steel beams and carpet padding,” according to Target’s Bullseye View.
The event also fills a niche, Colella said. “A lot of recycling programs will not accept car seats,” he said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published its updated recommendations on car safety seats Aug. 30.
The organization of 67,000 pediatricians is committed to the optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults, according to AAP.org.
In the update the AAP recommends, “Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.” Once they are facing forward, “Children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible.”
When your child exceeds these limits, “They should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly.”
This is normally when they reach at least 4 feet, 9 inches in height and are between 8 to 12 years old, according to AAP.org. “They should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection,” when children are ready to use a seat belt alone, the site also states.
Height and weight restrictions depend on the models and manufacturers of the seat, Colella said. Instructions for each model and manufacturer are different on car seats, and it is important to read instructions, he said. It’s also important to know when to replace your child’s car seat.
“If your car seat has been in a crash or is missing parts, they definitely need to replace it,” Colella said. If a child has outgrown the height or weight limit for a car seat, or the seat is expired, it also needs to be replaced, he added.
When contacted for this story, officials for the Target located on Magic Mountain Parkway did not have information on the program at this time, according to the store’s guest services department.