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By Cynthia Haggitt
Jerseyville Police Department (JPD) is here for all new mothers and families to help teach you about your child’s car seat.
On Oct. 30, the JPD held a workshop on Car Seat Safety. When Dennis Ford from State Farm Insurance saw the post on JPD’s Facebook website about the Car Seat Safety Installation and Inspection Day, Ford decided to help the department out.
“Dennis donated 18 brand new seats for those that may need to be replaced or are in need!!! JPD would like to thank Dennis for his donation,” Jerseyville Police Chief Brad Blackorby said. “If anyone needs help with their car seat and would like to learn more about car seat safety, they are welcome to meet with one of our certified officers here at the department.”
According to Illinois State Law, all children under the age of eight years old must be in an appropriate safety restraint for their height and weight.
Depending on their age, the appropriate car seat may be a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat. Every parent should know the ins-and-outs these laws and additional steps they can take to keep their children safe. Here is some of the information from the New Child Seat Law webpage to help inform a parent:
■ Infants through 12 months old: Illinois law requires children under one year old and weighing under 20 pounds to be in a rear-facing car seat. Fact: Your child is drastically safer in a car seat until age two.
■ Ages one through four: once a child reaches the maximum requirements of the manufacturer’s rear-facing car seat children can go to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
■ Ages four through eight: once a child has outgrown the manufacturer’s specifications for a forward facing car seat, they may go to a booster seat. Booster seats must be used with the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt, never just a lap belt.
■ Age eight: children are to stay in a booster seat until they’re tall enough to properly fit in an adult lap or shoulder belt. In Illinois, a child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat without a booster seat, secured with a lap belt only. This is extremely dangerous and may cause spinal cord injuries.