Child Seat Check Scheduled for Saturday to
Provide Parents with Free Hands-On Training During National
Child Passenger Safety Week
IDOT, SIU School of Medicine, AAA, Illinois
State Police and Dorel Juvenile Group Join in Effort
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Transportation, AAA, Dorel
Juvenile Group, Illinois State Police and SIU School of Medicine
today called on all parents and caregivers to ensure that
children are properly restrained in correctly installed child
safety seats when traveling on Illinois roadways. On Saturday,
September 25, over 70 free child seat checks will take place in
Illinois providing parents with free hands-on training from
certified child passenger safety (CPS) technicians.
"IDOT is committed to child passenger safety in Illinois and
encourages all parents to take advantage of the free CPS seat
checks offered this Saturday,” said Illinois Transportation
Secretary Gary Hannig. “The bottom line is safety seats do not
work unless they are properly installed and the child is
correctly buckled up. We commend the dedication and hard work of
our partners as we collaborate to ensure all children are
properly restrained when traveling on Illinois roadways.”
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for
children ages 3 to 14, in too many cases because three out of
four child safety seats are installed incorrectly. A major
safety issue being addressed this year is to promote keeping
children in their safety seats as long as recommended. Of
particular importance is that infants and toddlers remain
rear-facing until about 30-35 pounds, depending on the type of
Information gathered from a recent article from the American
Academy of Pediatrics supporting this concept revealed the
Children under the age of two years are 75%
less likely to die or sustain serious injury when they are
in a rear-facing seat.
Children under two are five times safer in a
rear-facing seat than when riding in a forward-facing seat
into the second year of life.
Children should ride in a rear-facing seat
to the highest weight or height allowed for use rear-facing
by the manufacturer of the seat.
Joining this effort is the SIU School of
Medicine, who urge their pediatricians and family practitioners
to follow this recommendation and advise parents to keep their
children secured to the upper limits of their safety seats.
“SIU Orthopedics applauds the 20 years of commitment ThinkFirst
has developed in their injury prevention outreach programs
throughout Illinois,” said Dr. Khaled Saleh, Chair, Division of
Orthopedic & Rehabilitation, SIU School of Medicine. “As
providers of orthopedic trauma care, we have witnessed the
results of an improperly installed child safety seat and the
results of a driver or passenger not using their safety belts.
We support the best practice use of both of these important
Because child safety seats save lives, all 50 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws requiring their
use. In Illinois, by law, all children must be properly
restrained in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat
until age 8, but best practice is to wait until the child is
4’9” tall. Among child passengers under age five, child
restraints saved the lives of an estimated 244 children in 2008.
Effective January 1, 2011, in an effort to save even more lives,
parents/caregivers stopped for child safety seat violations will
be eligible to have the fines waived if they complete a safety
seat installation under the guidance of a certified CPS
technician. Parents must show proof of education/installation to
have the fine dropped.
"We know that when children are riding in a
properly installed safety seat that corresponds appropriately to
their age, height, and weight, serious injuries and fatalities
decrease," said ISP Acting Director Jonathon Monken. "The
emphasis of this new law is not on the fine but rather on
education and making children safe."
"Illinois has made great strides in keeping its
children safe on the roadways,” said Brad Roeber, regional
president of AAA Chicago. “But, as survey data tells us, there
are still some parents who need assistance to ensure Illinois
children are safely buckled up. We encourage these and all
parents to take advantage of Seat Check Saturday as AAA wants
the roads to be safe for its youngest travelers."
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers
should refer to the following 4 Steps for Kids guidelines for
determining which restraint system is best suited to protect
children based on their age and size. Information on these
guidelines can be found on our website at
"Our car seat team
is committed to building the safest car seats in the world,"
said Dorel Juvenile Group President Dave Taylor. "It's equally
important to educate parents, especially new ones, on how to use
car seats to maximize their safety features. We are doing this
through partnerships with organizations committed to road
safety, such as AAA."
All children younger than the age of 13 should ride in the back
seat. Safety belts are required for all occupants under the age
of 16 in all seating positions in all cars, light trucks and
vans. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to ride in
the bed of a pickup truck.
The annual National Child Passenger Safety Week campaign, which
runs this year from September 19-25, focuses on increasing
awareness of these issues and provides parents and caregivers
with resources and information to better protect children from
motor vehicle crashes. The week’s activities wrap up on
Saturday, September 25th with its signature event--Seat Check
Thousands of seat check events will be taking place at locations
across the country. At each of these events, child passenger
safety technicians will provide free hands-on child safety seat
inspections and offer advice and instruction to parents and
caregivers. All Illinois events are sponsored by AAA, Dorel
Juvenile Group and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s
Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS).
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, or to find
a seat check near you, please visit