Summer is a time for families to enjoy road trips-and the perfect time to do a child safety seat check just in case that fun trip ends with a crash.
Parents know getting the child seat in just right can be a big pain. You have to put it in the correct place and fiddle with buttons and belts to make sure your child is locked in tight.
Illinois State Trooper Michelle Kistulinec makes it her mission to train parents on getting them in correctly and keeping kids safe. She, Illinois State Police District 15 and the Illinois Tollway are working together this summer to do just that with free safety seat inspections and child identification cards.
Correcting the seats is "not always a quick fix," Kistulinec says. Even Kistulinec struggles with the belts sometimes, but she says the effort is worth it. Check out a video of Kistulinec showing how to properly secure the seat below.
She offers two tips to remember:
One, safety seats expire. The seats become outdated and the changes in weather compromise the plastic. Kistulinec advises parents to check the labels on the seats regularly.
"The labels have the manufacturer's name, the model name and the manufacture date. Seats are typically good for six years from that date," she says.
Another tip, Kistulinec says, is to never buy a used car seat from a garage sale or secondhand store.
"The seat could be compromised or outdated," she says. "Each car seat is only tested one time to make sure that it is safe. It is important to be the original owner of the safety seat."
Lindsey is Chicago Parent's summer 2013 intern. She is a senior at Ball State University.
See more of Lindsey's stories here.