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Car seat's shelf life isn't as long as one may think

As responsible drivers we do whatever we need to do in order to ensure that our vehicle is in tip-top shape, we drive safely, don't talk on the phone and take all of the necessary precautions while traveling on the road. While we cannot predict the actions of others, we can at least make sure what happens in our own personal vehicles is within the state's laws.

We all know that our Midwest winters can get pretty cold, and Joliet drivers need to know what to look for in order to make sure that our vehicles and child safety seats are up to par in order to avoid our kids from being injured in car accident.

However, did you know that car seats had expiration dates? Yes, I said it. They can expire! A recent article reviewed the dangers of placing a child in an expired cars seat as well where to look to see if your own seat is expired.

Many do not realize that our state's temperature extremes can affect the integrity of child safety seats. The plastic can weaken and become brittle. If that does occur the seat may not withstand a car crash and protect its precious occupant.

It is also important to not repurpose car seats. While the gesture is definitely appreciated by new parents, it is better to buy a new seat that meets current safety guidelines. The recycling of car seats is something for existing parents to also bear in mind for additional children.

If you are wondering if the car seat you are using has "expired," see if the bottom of the seat has a sticker located on it. Some manufacturers provide this information. However, if a sticker isn't there and you know the seat is older than five years, it is time to replace it.

As parents, we make sure that everyone riding in our vehicles is safely restrained and sitting in their seats. We make sure that our little passengers are tucked into their own little safety seats. However, no matter how safe we try to make everyone in our own vehicle, an accident can happen at any time.

Source: The Herald-News, "Expired child car seats may not do their job," Michelle Rudman, Nov. 27, 2012

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