Safe Kids Adams County and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety are urging parents and caregivers to make sure their child safety seats are properly installed. Quincy will have certified technicians available to provide free hands-on child safety seat inspections and advice from 4 to 6 p.m. at Central Fire Station at 906 Vermont is Friday.

In motor vehicle crashes, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than 1 and by 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4 in passenger cars, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2009 alone, 754 children, 12 or younger, were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes while riding in passenger cars or light trucks. Among those who were fatally injured where restraint use was known, 42 percent were unrestrained. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented if the children had been in the right restraint for their age and size.

New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection station to ensure their child’s safety seat is used properly:

  1. Rear-Facing Seats: In the back seat from birth to the height and weight limit of the seat. Recommended up to 2 years old, but at a minimum age 1 and 20 pounds.
  2. Forward-Facing Seats: In the back seat when the child has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat to about age 4 and 40-65 pounds.
  3. Booster Seats: In the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8.
  4. Safety Belts: At age 8 and older and taller than 4’9’’.

Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat. As of 2012, safety belt use is required in all seating positions in all cars, light trucks and vans. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to ride in the bed of a pickup truck.

For more information on child passenger safety, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.