Local advocate reinforces importance of properly installed car safety seats

By Marshanna Hester

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 10:10 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Statistics show injuries to children in an accident can be reduced by 71 percent if a car seat is properly installed.

That case was proven Monday morning.

A Tazewell County Resource Center vehicle carrying one person collided with a car carrying a mother and two children.

It happened at the intersection of Springfield and Mueller roads in East Peoria.

The 2-month-old and 18-month-old inside the car were properly restrained. Everyone involved suffered only minor injuries.

Lynn Geier is the coalition coordinator for Safe Kids Peoria and is relieved to know that parent was educated.

She said Illinois law requires children to be in a safety seat until age 8.

"But the new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is for children to be in a rear-facing car seat until age 2," she said. "A lot of parents want to at one year and 20 pounds, which is the minimum, they want to turn those children around to forward facing. However, their neck muscles aren't as strong to sustain that forward facing crash."

A free car seat fitting station will be held Tuesday, April 9 from 1-4 p.m. at Advanced Medical Transport at 1718 N. Sterling Ave. in Peoria.

No appointment is needed.

To find an upcoming car seat check near you, visit the Safe Kids Peoria website at https://childrenshospitalofillinois.org/calendar/search/?category=Car Seat Safety. You can also call 1-877-277-6543.