State Police Receives Child Seats from IDOT

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Published on April 8 2014 7:42 pm
Last Updated on April 8 2014 7:42 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

District 12 Illinois State Police have been awarded 42 child safety seats by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The grant was awarded to help increase the use of booster seats in District 12 counties including Effingham, Jasper, Clay, Cumberland, Fayette and four others.

State police say booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 45% for children ages four to eight years old.  According to a 2011 study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 25% of children ages four to seven were restrained by a seat belt alone and another 10% were riding totally unrestrained.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages one to 13.

District 12 Commander Captain Kelly Hodge reminds that Illinois law requires that all children under the age of eight be properly restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat.  Additionally, even though a child turns eight years old, it doesn't mean he or she is big enough to sit without a booster seat.  

There's a five-step test to take to see whether a child is big enough to stop using a booster seat:

--does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?

--do the child's knees completely bend over the edge of the vehicle seat with the feet touching the floor?

--does the shoulder belt cross the child's shoulder between the neck and arm and the lap belt fit low and snug across the hips?

--does the vehicle seat provide the child with adequate head protection?

--can the child stay seated in this position for the entire trip?

If the answer to any of these questions is No, police say he's not ready to use an adult seat belt and should continue to use the booster seat until the adult seat belt fits appropriately.

Families interested in attending an educational program to learn more about how booster seats protect children may contact Trooper Tammy Welborn at 217-342-7812 for more information.  Attendees may be eligible to receive a new booster seat for their child.

A reminder that all children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.