CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Carbondale police say fewer children are at risk of being killed or injured due to a grant provided to the by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
According to the police department, $1,000 grant was given to help increase the use of booster seats.
The grant was one of 51 grants distributed throughout Illinois this spring as part of the "Boost Your Big Kid" campaign.
On April 21, 2014, 36 parents were educated on the importance of booster seats at the Public Safety Center and 27 booster seats were distributed to parents whose children were in need of a booster seat.
"We are gratified that so many parents and caregivers took advantage of this event to help ensure that their children will be riding safely every trip, every time," said Chief Jody O'Guinn.
Driver crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages one to 13.
According to crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that during the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, 3,661 children were killed in car crashes. An estimated 634,000 children were injured.
Illinois law requires that all children under the age of eight must be properly restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat.
Even though a child turns eight, it does not mean they are ready to sit without a booster seat.
According to police, here is the 5-Step test:
1) Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
2) Do the child's knees completely bend over the edge of the vehicle seat with the feet touching the floor?
3) Does the shoulder belt cross the child's shoulder between the neck and arm and the lap belt fit low and snug across the hips?
4) Does the vehicle seat provide the child with adequate head protection?
5) Can the child stay seated in this position for the entire trip?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the child is not ready to use an adult seat belt - and parent's need to continue to use the booster seat until the adult seat belt fits appropriately.
Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat. As of January 1, 2012, seat belts are required in all seating positions.