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Every day in America, too many children are riding in the wrong car seats or are completely unrestrained. To help combat the issue, and in recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week, the Park Forest Fire Department will conduct a car seat safety event on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Park Forest Farmers’ Market.
The Park Forest Fire Department will have certified child passenger safety (CPS) technicians on hand to check car seats for proper installation and educate parents and caregivers on how to choose the correct car seats and install them properly in their vehicles. This event is one of 93 events in Illinois sponsored by AAA and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“By attending the car seat event on Sept. 23, parents and caregivers can be sure their kids are riding as safely as possible in their vehicle,” said Captain Phil Myers of the Park Forest Fire Department.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing their car seats, children should be placed in booster seats.
While Illinois law states a child must be in an appropriate car seat or booster seat until their eighth birthday, some eight-year-old children are not tall enough for the seat belt to fit them correctly. These kids need to stay in a booster seat until they are taller – four feet, nine inches is the recommended height.
Remember: In Illinois, children are required to be in a car seat or booster seat until at least age 8 and all children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety, visit nhtsa.gov or buckleupillinois.org.