To conclude Child Passenger Safety Week, Saturday, September 21 is being designated as National Seat Check Saturday. The goal of this “holiday” is to instruct parents on how to correctly install and use their child’s car seat, as well as making sure that children are in the appropriate seat according to their age and size. The slogan in accordance with CPS Week and Seat Check Saturday is “If You Love Them Enough… choose the Right Seat,” which points to the importance that although a child may be secured in a car seat or booster seat, they might not be in the correct one for their age, weight, or height.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is partnering with advocates across the state of Illinois to support seat check events. At these events, participants will receive a supply of replacement car seats, technician t-shirts, posters and informational brochures to be distributed. An estimated 100 events across Illinois are scheduled to be held and promoted through use of a map and complete schedule to be advertised in the media. In preparation for these events, CPS technicians will be: handing out educational materials to parents and caregivers; distributing posters to local businesses, schools and community organizations, posting messages to social media outlets, and hosting a car seat check event and promoting through local community press releases and flyers.
As a parent or caregiver, it is important to ensure that your child is always in the proper safety seat in a vehicle and that it is correctly installed. The goal of having National Seat Check Saturday is to be informed on whether your child is in the correct seat and if the installation is adequate. Some common car seat mistakes include:
- Placing the child in a forward-facing car seat too soon.
- Not adjusting the harness so that it is snuggly against the child.
- Not securing the car seat in the vehicle properly.
- Not registering the car seat for notifications of product recalls.
- Moving a child to the next car seat or booster seat too soon.
- Leaving toys or other items unsecured in the vehicle.
- Not using the top tether on forward-facing car seats.
- Not using lower anchors/LATCH system as approved.
The leading cause of death for children under the age of 13 remains to be motor vehicle crashes and knowing or learning from common car seat mistakes could help ensure the safety of your child. When choosing the right car seat for your child, it is important to purchase one that properly fits your child’s age, weight, and height. For installation, the car seat needs to be placed in the back seat of the vehicle, facing the correct direction, reclined at the correct angle, and securely installed using the seat belt or lower anchors. Additionally, the harness straps of the car seat should fit snug and be sure to check that both pieces of the harness buckle are fully inserted and that the chest clip is buckled at your child’s armpit level. Following these tips could help prevent an injury to your child in the event of a motor vehicle crash, but even when you are taking extra precautions to protect your child, an injury may still occur. If your child has suffered an injury as a result of a motor vehicle crash, contact Spiros Law, P.C. to receive a free consultation. Our compassionate attorneys are readily equipped to aid you at every step of the process.