AAA Joins IDOT to Host 82 Safety Seat Checkpoints as Part of National Child Passenger Safety Week
AURORA, Ill., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — AAA now advises parents of infants and young toddlers to secure their children in rear-facing child safety seats for as long as possible, maxing out the upper weight or height limits of the car seat. Researchers indicate that toddlers are 75 percent less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash when they ride in a rear-facing car seat up to their second birthday. Moreover, children should be in a booster seat until 8 or older unless they are 4’9″ tall. Four out of five children age 6 to 8 who were killed in automobile crashes in 2009 were either improperly restrained or not belted at all, according to a secondary analysis of FARS crash data conducted by AAA.
To send these messages to parents and caregivers, AAA is teaming up with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Evenflo to host Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 24th, as part of the National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week, Sept. 18-24. There will be 82 seat check events held statewide where parents can go to get their child seats checked for free by a trained child seat technician. To find seat check locations throughout the state, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.
“Illinois has made great strides in keeping its children safe on the roadways,” said Brad Roeber, regional president of AAA Chicago. “But, 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 even the youngest travelers.”
AAA recommends the following child passenger safety best practices, which were first formally endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011:
- Keep children rear-facing as long as possible — into their second year of life until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seat. This will usually be around 30-35 pounds.
- Once children outgrow the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seats, they can ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.
- Children should use a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the maximum weight (usually 40-65 lbs.) or height for the harness.
- Children should ride in a booster seat until age 8 or older unless they are 4’9″ tall.
- Move children to adult lap/shoulder belts when they are at least 4′ 9″ tall (which usually happens between ages 8 and 12) and vehicle safety belts fit properly.
- For all children under age 13, the back seat is the safest place.
“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 Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “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.”
As part of the Seat Check Saturday events on September 24th, AAA and IDOT have partnered with Evenflo, a leading manufacturer of child seats. Nearly 800 Evenflo car seats will be supplied to families throughout the state who are in need of car seats to keep their children safe.