Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for children. In 2013, 638 children under the age of 12 died, and a further 127,250 were seriously injured in automobile accidents. The wide gap between fatalities and injuries is largely attributable to the use of child safety seats.
However, even though it is well established that child safety seats save lives, the CDC estimates that up to 618,000 children are transported each year without the use of a safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt. This negligent behavior puts children at considerable risk of injury or death should the driver be involved in an automobile accident.
“Many parents, grandparents, and family friends think they are using child safety seats correctly. However, the Illinois State Police estimate that up to 90% of child safety seats are improperly installed,” commented Chicago personal injury lawyer John M. Power.
In order to help parents protect their children, the Illinois State Police and Illinois Tollway are organizing multiple events this summer to inspect child safety seats and assist with their installation. Known as the Kids Identification and Safety Seat (KISS), the events will be held in Northern Illinois through late September.
“Properly used, child safety seats reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants, and 54% for toddlers. Thus, it is crucial for parents and caregivers to follow instructions and to get in the habit of using the device the way it is supposed to be used,” stated Chicago personal injury lawyer John M. Power.
In Illinois, the law requires children to be restrained by a safety seat or booster seat until they are at least 4’9″ tall or 8 years old. Failure to do so can not only lead to tickets and fines, it can cause serious injury or death to the child in the event of an accident.