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Child Safety Seats

A fun trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa isn’t easy when you need to get your baby into a child safety seat. However, auto collisions are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. While automobiles are a necessity and an integral part of American culture, riding in one presents many safety risks. So, naturally, the government along with car manufacturers constantly work to tweak automobile design, construction, equipment and regulation in order to minimize the occurrence and consequences of accidents. Protecting the safety of children riding in cars also poses a unique challenge. In 2009, 179,000 children were injured in auto accidents and more than 1,000 died. Currently, the best solution to this problem has been the child safety seat, a seat specifically designed to protect children from injury or death during collisions.

History of Child Safety Seats

Child safety seats began to be manufactured in the 1930’s, but not for what you might think. Originally, these contraptions only served as boosters so that a child’s parents could see the child in the back, and so that children could look out the window. In the 1960’s, the first impact protection child safety seat was developed, but this seat did not catch on because of the general public’s lack of information as to the safety benefits the child safety seat could provide. It wasn’t until the mid-1970’s that car seats began to make an impact, and people began to think seriously about purchasing these safety seats and buckling in their children.

Illinois Child Safety Seat Law

Currently, all 50 states require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria.

– for example, a child safety seat. To illustrate how serious Illinois takes child safety, violators of the Child Passenger Protection Act are subject to a fine for the first offense and are eligible for court supervision if they provide the court with documented proof from a child safety seat technician of a properly installed child restraint system and completion of an instructional course on the installation of that restraint system. A subsequent violation is a petty offense with a $200 fine and not eligible for court supervision. The act itself provides specific guidelines for height, weight and installation. There are different recommendations and requirements based on the age, height and weight of the child.

When choosing a child safety seat, there are generally three different options that again correlate with the height, weight and age of the child. There are baby child safety seats generally for children up to thirty pounds. There are convertible child safety seats which are geared towards toddlers. Finally, there are belt-positioning booster child safety seats for children of at least four who weigh over forty pounds. When purchasing a new child safety seat there is also no need to fret about quality because, all car seats currently on the market meet the U.S. government’s stringent crash- and fire-safety standards.

Although child injuries and deaths related to auto collisions continue to occur at an alarming rate, it is good to know that state legislators around the country are continuing to impose stricter standards when it comes to child safety seats. The safest car seat will always be the one that best fits your child and is easiest for you to use. For more information and tips visit

R.F. Wittmeyer

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