Gurnee, IL – Fewer Gurnee area children are at risk of being killed or injured when traveling on our roadways as a result of a grant provided to the Gurnee Police Department by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The $1,000 grant was given to help increase the use of booster seats. The grant was one of 51 grants distributed throughout Illinois this spring as part of the Boost Your Big Kid campaign.
On April 22nd and 23rd, 86 child restraint seats were checked and 60 parents were educated on the importance of booster seats at Gurnee Park District’s Hunt Club Park and Viking Park locations. Thirty five booster seats were distributed to parents whose children were in need of a booster seat. The Target in Gurnee allowed the Police Department to purchase seats at a discounted price so that more could be distributed, and we thank them for partnering in this important community education event. During both events, the Gurnee Park District hosted an ice cream social, making it a fun event for both parents and kids.
“It is gratifying to partner with the Gurnee Park District and Target in helping parents keep their children safe,” said Chief Kevin Woodside.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that during the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, 3,661 children were killed in car crashes. In addition, an estimated 634,000 children were injured.
Illinois law requires that all children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat. Even though a child turns 8, it does not mean they are ready to sit without a booster seat. Don’t leap out of a booster seat too soon; take the 5-Step test:
- Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
- Do the child’s knees completely bend over the edge of the vehicle seat with the feet touching the floor?
- Does the shoulder belt cross the child’s shoulder between the neck and arm and the lap belt fit low and snug across the hips?
- Does the vehicle seat provide the child with adequate head protection?
- Can the child stay seated in this position for the entire trip?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then the child is not ready to use an adult seat belt. Continue to use the booster seat until the adult seat belt fits appropriately.
Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
As of January 1, 2012, seat belts are required in all seating positions.
Cmdr. Saundra Campbell
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