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Seat Check Saturday: Nationwide event for parents, caregivers to get expert help on seat and safety restraints

ILLINOIS, September 22 - SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that certified child passenger safety technicians are offering free car seat safety checks throughout the state as part of Child Passenger Safety Week this week, highlighted by National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 24.

"Every 25 seconds a child 14 and under is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle," said Cynthia Watters, IDOT's bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering.

"National Seat Check Saturday is an opportunity to ensure your child is safe in their car seat or booster seat. No parent or caregiver ever wants to get it wrong when it comes to a child's safety."

Studies show four out of every five car seats are installed incorrectly. During Seat Check Saturday, technicians will provide instruction on how to install and use car seats correctly and help determine if your children are in the right seat for their age, height and weight. Technicians also can explain the importance of registering car seats with their manufacturers so parents and caregivers can be notified if there is a recall.

State law passed in 2019 requires children to ride in a child safety seat until age 8 and rear-facing until age 2.

In 2021, 19 traffic fatalities in Illinois involved a passenger younger than 12. Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. Don't feel pressured to put your child in a seat belt too soon. If your child is ready to use a seat belt, ensure the seat belt fits correctly. Bottom line: The safest place for all kids under 13 is buckled up in the back seat.