How to keep your kids safe this summer and beyond

Just like it takes more than buckling up in the car to keep kids safe, it takes more than just knowing what color their hair is to help law enforcement locate them.

If you go

Check out this list of upcoming K.I.S.S. events to make this a summer of safety for your kids.

  • July 11 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Ikea Schaumburg
  • July 25 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis
  • Aug. 1 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview
  • Aug. 8 – 3- 5 p.m., The Promenade Bolingbrook
  • Aug. 22 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Discovery Center Museum, Rockford
  • Aug. 29 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville
  • Sept. 19 — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Family Safety Fair, Downers Grove

The Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police are teaming up again for their annual free Kids Identification and Safety Seats events.

”Our ultimate goal is to keep people safe, that’s our number one priority, to make sure kids are safe and parents are worry free,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur says.

At the upcoming events, parents can have identification cards made for children 3 and older and certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect and install child safety seats. The child seat inspection is especially important since the Illinois State Police has found that about 90 percent of child safety seats are installed incorrectly.

National research on child safety seats shows the seats reduce fatal injury by 71 percent in infants under 1 and by 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers who plan to attend an event should bring the child safety seats, the children who use them and the vehicle in which the safety seats will be installed. Information on recalls, correct positioning and other important safety information will be offered.

Last year, more than 240 child safety seats were inspected.

For parents unable to attend any of the events, Lafleur says they should check the label on their car seat. This label has an expiration date and height and weight specifications for the safety seat.

The police and tollway also issued nearly 500 kids an identification card at the K.I.S.S. events.

Every day in the United States, more than 2,100 children are reported missing. It’s estimated that about one-third of parents wouldn’t be able to accurately describe their child, which is why the identification cards are a big help.

“When kids do go missing, parents get emotional and often can’t remember specific details about their child,” Lafleur says.

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