Independence Day weekend saw a number of events sponsored by the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police intended to help keep children safe. One of the aspects of the Kids Identification and Safety Seat events was an effort to improve child safety seat use among Illinois families. The events provided demonstrations and safety seat checks to help parents correctly install the important safety devices. In a car accident, a child's life may be saved by a properly installed safety seat.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration lists car crashes as the number one killer of children between the ages of 1 and 12. The majority of those children are within the size range where a child restraint system is recommended. While a child safety seat cannot guarantee the safety of a child if an accident occurs, they have been proven effective by numerous studies. The NHTSA concluded that infants under the age of 1 saw a 71 percent reduction in fatal injuries when a child safety seat was used. Toddlers between 1 and 4 saw a 54 percent reduction in fatal injuries.
Unfortunately, even parents who choose to use child safety seats may not be getting the full advantage of the devices. According to group representatives, 4 out of 5 child safety seats in Illinois are not installed correctly. Improper installation can threaten the life of the child and lead to distraction and injury to others in the vehicle, as well.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police to Host Kids Safety Events on Fourth of July Holiday Weekend," by Jon Bigness, 1 July 2013