We all know to check expiration dates on food (although some seem to be used more as a “suggestion”) – but did you know that there are expiration dates on several other items that should absolutely not be ignored? Most of these are actually safety items, so it is especially important to check expiration dates to make sure that they are still safe to use. Here are five items from a blog post by Jeff Jacobs on PromoCorner.
Batteries – There are several safety tips that should be much more common knowledge than they seem to be, like not storing batteries together without a spacer in between (storing together can react and create a short circuit or fire) and avoid heat exposure (can cause leak or explosion). Another tip to remember is that batteries expire. Make sure to note the date you bought them. Keeping depleted batteries inside a device can damage it.
Child safety seats – This is another extremely important tip. Child safety seats DO EXPIRE. Many people try to use the seats over and over again. This is fine for a while; most seats last about six years. But make sure that you check with the manufacturer. Using an expired seat can be dangerous for the child.
Bike helmets – Like child safety seats, failure to replace an expired bike helmet can lead to dangerous – or deadly – consequences. Most are good for 5-10 years but, again, check with the manufacturer. And always replace them after a crash.
Sunscreen – Who would have thought that sunscreen would have an expiration date? It’s important to pay attention to the expiration date on this because, without doing so, you could be depriving your skin of the protection that it needs.
Smoke alarms – Changing out the batteries on your smoke alarm is something that everyone is familiar with. But smoke alarms themselves should be changed out, as well! Next time that you’re changing your batteries, check the manufactured date. Smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years.
BONUS: Medication – This is one that a surprising number of people don’t realize – or don’t pay attention to. If you look at a medication bottle, it will have a “discard after” date. Many people think that this is simply a suggestion, but it’s actually really important. Expired medication can do one of two things: work less effectively or more so. If you take medication that should have been disposed of already, it may not work at all – or it could have stronger effects, which can lead to much bigger problems. Side note: Make sure that you are disposing of medication properly! Ask your pharmacist about proper disposal.