Child Passenger Safety Week is coming up

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced Monday it is renewing its commitment to child safety seat awareness during Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 18-24.  

The ISP and the Illinois Department of Human Services are collaborating this week and throughout the year to provide child safety seat services to Illinois residents.  

The purpose of Child Passenger Safety Week is to remind families and motorists about the importance of securing all children in a car seat, booster seat or seatbelt.  

“Our goal is to ensure children are properly secured in an appropriate car seat-every trip, every time,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “Safety seat programs like this provide parents and guardians with the necessary information and resources to make travelling with young children as safe as possible,” he added.

Throughout the year, DHS provides car seats to qualified individuals. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate and have their child’s safety seat checked by a certified technician. 

"As a mother, I know the importance of car safety seats and I encourage all parents to take the time to be educated in the proper installation of car safety seats and learn how to properly secure their child in the seat," said Ivonne Sambolin, Director of the IDHS Division of Community Health and Prevention. "It is our duty to act responsibly and ensure children’s safety."

Both agencies point out that countless lives have already been saved by simply requiring drivers to wear their seat belts. Statistics reveal that more than 92 percent of motorists choose to wear their seat belts and officials stress that it is equally important to ensure that children in vehicles are properly secured in the appropriate child safety seat.   

Several car seat checks have already been scheduled at different locations throughout the state.  Two car seat events will take place in this area on Sept. 24. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available to inspect car seats and provide a demonstration.

The following locations are scheduled:

Morton Fire Department          

300 West Courtland              

Morton               

9 a.m.-noon           

The Child Passenger Protection Act was established to protect the health and safety of children through the proper use of approved child restraint systems.  Parents or legal guardians of a child under the age of eight are responsible for providing an approved child safety seat to anyone who transports his or her child. The first violation of this act is punishable by a fine of $75. The fee may be waived upon proof of possession and installation of an approved child passenger restraint system, which has been installed by a certified child passenger safety technician.  A subsequent violation of this Act is a petty offense punishable by a fine of $200.  

The Illinois State Police offers the following recommendations provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Select a car seat based on your child's age, height, and weight.

Keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as your child fits the seat's height and weight requirements.

All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.

For additional information regarding dates, times and locations of a car seat event near you, visit www.seatcheck.net, or contact your local ISP Safety Education Officer.