Worth to hand out booster seats to safety class attendees
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com April 30, 2014 6:46PM
Worth Police Sgt. Cristiano Fernandez will teach a class on child car seat safety on Saturday. | Supplied photo
Updated: June 2, 2014 1:02PM
The Worth Police Department is giving away 35 booster seats that can be used for children ages 4 to 8.
The catch? One must attend a brief class about proper use of booster seats, taught by Police Sgt. Cristiano Fernandez, at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Worth Village Hall, 7112 W. 111th St.
“There was a $1,000 grant available through the Illinois Department of Transportation and we got it, which we’re extremely excited about,” Worth Police Chief Martin Knolmayer said.
The money was used to buy the 35 booster seats.
“There’s a presentation that’s required and there’s a little test,” he said. “It’s tough. These guys go to a certification course. We have people who stop by and ask for our help to install the seats.
“We’re hoping to get anyone who’s interested, to have them come out and participate in the program and we’ll give away the booster seats.”
Booster seats put the lap and seat belts in the proper positions, he said.
“Otherwise you can see back injuries or neck injuries if they’re not used properly,” he said.
Being a Worth resident is not a requirement to get a seat, he said.
According to a 2011 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children ages 4 to 8. The study found that 25 percent of children ages 4 to 7 were restrained by a seat belt alone, and another 10 percent had no restraints.
“We’ve been out to daycare centers and the local schools to make sure they know about the program and they come out Saturday. (If) we can give them the knowledge they need to protect their kids and give them the equipment to do that, we’re happy,” Knolmayer said.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13, according to the traffic safety administration. From 2007 to 2011, there were 3,661 children who died as a result of car crashes, and another 634,000 were injured.
Illinois law requires that all children under age 8 be properly restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat. Even after age 8, some smaller children may still need booster seats.