Effingham, IL -(Effingham Radio)- Every day in America, too many children are riding in the wrong car seats or completely unrestrained. To help combat the issue, the Illinois State Police (ISP) in District 12 announced today that it will conduct a car seat safety event surrounding National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 23rd through the 29th.
ISP will have certified child passenger safety technicians on hand from 10am–1pm at the ISP District 12 Headquarters in Effingham (401 Industrial Ave.) to check car seats for proper installation and educate parents and caregivers on how to choose the correct car seats and install them properly in their vehicles. This event, held on Monday, Sept. 24th, is one of 96 car seat checks scheduled during the week in Illinois.
“By attending our car seat event on Monday, Sept. 24th, parents and caregivers can be sure their kids are riding as safely as possible in their vehicle,” said ISP District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt. “Even if kids are in the right seat, sometimes they are not buckled correctly or the seat isn’t installed in the vehicle properly. Common mistakes can present the biggest dangers, he added.”
This year, Illinois events will focus on educating parents on the dangers of these eight mistakes:
1. Turning the child forward-facing too soon
2. Using the wrong LATCH lower anchors or both the LATCH and seat belt systems
3. Not using a locked seat belt to secure the car seat
4. Not adjusting the harness snugly against the child
5. Not using the top tether on a forward-facing car seat
6. Moving to a booster seat before the harness weight limit is reached
7. Moving from a booster seat to seat belt based on age instead of proper belt fit
8. Not registering the car seat or labeling it with emergency contact information
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and top tether. After outgrowing his or her car seat, the child should be placed in a booster seat.
While Illinois law states a child must be in an appropriate car seat or booster seat until their 8th birthday, most 8-year-old children are not tall enough for the seat belt to fit them correctly. These children need to stay in a booster seat until they are at least 4-feet, 9 inches.
Remember: In Illinois, children are required to be in a car seat or booster seat until at least age 8 and all children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
New Illinois law effective January 1, 2019: Children under the age of two (2) must ride rear-facing.