Kids safety effort kicks off Saturday

As they get set to head off for a day in the city, the local pool or across the country, too many parents (and grandparents) think the kids are safe in the backseat. Yet, more than 80 percent of them aren’t because their safety seats are installed incorrectly, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur says.

Tips to know

  • Infants should ride rear-facing until at least 20 pounds and 12
    months old.
  • Toddlers and young children up to 4 should ride in a child
    safety seat with an internal harness until they reach the maximum
    harness limit of up to 40 pounds.
  • Until 8, children should use a booster seat in order for the
    seat belt to fit correctly. Illinois requires kids under 8 to be in
    a safety seat or booster.

That’s the reason for the yearly push by the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police to get parents to stop at one of the 14 Kids Identification and Safety Seat events this summer to check. The effort kicks of Saturday at IKEA in Bolingbrook, just off the Veterans Memorial Tollway (Interstate 355) on Boughton Road. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., while parents have the child seats checked for fit and recalls, the kids can climb aboard a Tollway snowplow and a H.E.L.P. truck.

New this year, the effort – K.I.S.S. for short – will create free ID cards for kids containing their photo, fingerprints and vital information in case the kids ever go missing.

With 2,100 children reported missing every day nationwide, Lafleur says she thinks this is a good way for the Tollway to help parents. In many cases, children can be found when parents give police an accurate description of their child more quickly.

K.I.S.S. events are scheduled at a variety of locations along the 286-mile Illinois Tollway system through September, illinoistollway.com. To participate in the K.I.S.S. events, parents and caregivers should bring their child safety seats, children and the vehicle in which the child safety seats will be installed.

“It shouldn’t take too much time out of people’s day,” Lafleur says.

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