SYCAMORE – Police will conduct a child car seat check today at Hy-Vee in an effort to educate the public on proper seat safety.
Sycamore police Sgt. Justin Kness said the event, part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, is free to the public from noon to 3 p.m. today in the Hy-Vee parking lot. Certified child safety technicians will check car seats for proper installation and show parents, grandparents and caregivers how to best use the seats.
Four out of five children are not properly restrained while riding in cars, but what police often encounter are errors in the minor details, Kness said.
A seat belt might not be locked, for example, or a car seat could have expired. Using after-market products such as mirrors and toys can be dangerous, too, he said.
“We just see quite a bit of incorrect use of child seats out there,” Kness said.
This year, the Illinois Department of Transportation is targeting grandparents who might not regularly transport children and tend to make do with an older child seat or seating arrangement, Kness said.
“It’s more of an awareness push to say, ‘Hey, grandparents, you’re part of this, too,’ ” he said.
Kness said police can inspect car seats, make sure they’re not expired and verify – if the child who uses the seat is present – that the seat is the appropriate size for the child. He said they also can review installation of seats with parents.
Low-income families should contact Sycamore police about available child seat resources, Kness said.