With New Recommendations IDOT Urges Parents and Caregivers to Have
Their Child Safety Seats Inspected
It is the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to ensure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time. We want to help you do all you can to best protect your child when traveling. We urge all parents and caregivers to have your child safety seat checked by a certified technician. When it comes to the safety of your child, there is no room for mistakes.
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 1 to 4 in passenger cars, according to data collected by The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2009 alone, 754 children 12 or younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes while riding in passenger cars or light trucks. And 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 were in the right restraint for their age and size.
The updated recommendations 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. Best practice is to remain in a child restraint or booster seat until age 8, 80 lbs, and 4'9"; however, currently the only requirement by law indicates a child needs to remain in a child restraint or booster until age 8.
4. Safety Belts: At age 8 and older and taller than 4'9''.
Not complying with the best practice recommendations issued by IDOT will not lead to the issuance of a citation; however, the law states a child under the age of 8 years of age MUST BE restrained in a child restraint or booster which is an offense that a motorist can receive a citation for. A motorist may also be cited for not having a child properly restrained in their child restraint device.
Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
As of January 1, 2012, safety belts are 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 assistance installing a child restraint please contact the Dixon Police Department and request a certified car seat technician at 815-288-4411. Installations are most easily completed by scheduling an appointment.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety visit