We hear it all the time: “Car seats doesn’t actually expire. That’s just a ploy by the manufacturers. They’re just trying to get you to spend more money and buy new stuff.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as a devastated family from Sheboygan, Wisconsin found out earlier this week.

Apparently, a couple’s failure to replace their child’s expired car seat resulted in the death of their toddler. According to authorities, the young child consumed a portion of the outdated vehicular safety device while on the way home from daycare.

The child was discovered unresponsive with a small chunk of the car seat in her mouth. Her parents rushed the child to Aurora Memorial Medical Center where, to their dismay, she was declared dead. Following further investigation by the medical examiner, it was determined that her cause of death was due to ingestion of the expired car seat.

According to the distraught parents, they purchased the car seat from a local thrift store before their daughter was born. As expected, they failed to check the expiration date before making their purchase. “It looked like it was fine… completely safe,” the child’s mother remarked. “It smelled a bit like sour breast milk, but we thought that was just spit-up from the previous owner. We had no idea it had gone bad. We had no idea this was possible!”

Child who died eating expired car seat

Wise Words and Car Seat Safety Tips

“This is why it’s so important for parents to check the dates on their child’s car seat,” said Sheboygan County Medical Examiner Christopher Nehring. “Not unlike a fresh ball of mozzarella, car seats go bad. And sometimes faster than one might think!

According to car seat manufacturers Graco, most car seats expire after 6 years. While some may last longer, mold and harmful bacteria may begin to grow after that time. “It’s of the utmost importance that parents pay close attention to expiration dates and not push their luck. In other words, when in doubt, chuck it out!”

Following up on the incident, Content Spew discovered that the child’s parents had since been arrested and charged with gross criminal negligence. They were placed in Sheboygan Country Adult Correctional Center and are scheduled to appear in court later next week. Their bails have been set at $48,000 and $129,000 respectively.