Simple pointers to keep
your children safe
Child Passenger Protection Act
Revised effective January 1, 2004
• IL law requires that all children under
the age of 8 be properly restrained in
an appropriate child safety seat. All
children need to be restrained
correctly whenever they ride in a
Every trip, Every time!!!!!!!
• The safest way for infants to ride is rear-facing in the back
seat. Rear-facing child safety seats protect the infant’s
head, neck and back in a crash. The infant should ride rear-
facing until at least 20 pounds AND one year of age,
longer if possible to protect their developing muscles and
• The baby's head must be at least one inch below the top of
the child safety seat.
• The label on the child safety seat gives the upper weight
limit of the child safety seat. Infant-only seats usually
range from birth or five pounds to about 20 pounds.
• ALWAYS monitor the baby when he/she is in the infant-only
seat. The infant-only child safety seat should not be used
as a crib, and should NEVER be placed on a high table or
• Keep harness straps
fastened snug on baby
even when the child safety
seat is not being used
in your vehicle.
• Harness straps should
be at or below the baby’s shoulders
Convertible Seats (Toddler Seats)
• Convertible child safety seats are designed for older babies and
can be used rear–facing to higher weight limits, and then forward-
• Newer convertible child safety seats can be used rear-facing up to 30 or
35 pounds for children who are over 20 pounds, but less than one year of
age. Some older models can only be used up to 20-22 pounds rear–facing.
Always check the label and instructions for the rear–facing weight limit.
• If a baby under one year of age grows too tall or too heavy for an infant-
only seat, a convertible seat with a higher rear-facing weight limit (over
22 pounds) is recommended.
• Convertible child safety seats may be turned around to face the front
when baby is over one year of age AND at least 20 pounds.
• It is recommended that a child ride rear-facing as long as he/she fits in
the convertible child safety seat. This protects baby's fragile head, neck,
and spinal cord. Follow the child safety seat manufacturer's instructions
for rear-facing weight limits.
• A convertible child safety seat with a 5 point harness is
recommended over a convertible seat with a padded
overhead shield for small infants. The shield comes up too
high and may make proper adjustment of the harness
difficult for a small infant.
• The harness straps are at or
below the child’s shoulders for
rear-facing, and at or above
the shoulders for forward facing.
• Forward-facing only seats are
designed for children who are over
one year and over 20 lbs. The upper
weight limit for this seat is usually 40
lbs. When the child reaches 40 lbs.,
you need to take out the harness
straps and use the seat as a Belt
Positioning Booster seat with the
• Harness straps must
be at or above the
• Safety belts are designed for small adults who are at least
80 pounds and 4 feet 9 inches tall. Until age eight, most
children have not developed strong hipbones, and their legs
and body are too short for the adult safety belt to fit
• A belt that rides up on the tummy could cause serious
internal injuries to vital organs. Many young children do not
sit still or straight enough to keep lap belts low across their
thighs or the strong hip bones. The shoulder belt should
never be placed behind a child’s back or under the arm. If
this is done, your child could be seriously injured.
• Booster seats are comfortable for children because they
allow their legs to bend normally and help them sit up
straighter so the adult safety belt fits. Booster seats also
allow kids to see out the window better.
• A booster seat must always be used with a combination
lap/shoulder safety belt, never with a lap only safety belt.
Always buckle the
booster seat when
the child is not in it.
A loose booster seat
can injure others
in a crash.
Installing child restraints
• ALWAYS read and follow the child safety
seat instructions and the vehicle owner's
• Make sure you know how the safety belt/
LATCH system work in the vehicle in order
to keep the child safety seat firmly
attached to the vehicle. You can put your
knee in the seat and pull the safety
• Log on to the IDOT Child Passenger Safety
website at www.buckleupillinois.org in
order to find a Child Passenger Safety
technician in your area.
When is a Child Ready for an Adult Safety Belt?
• Until age eight, most children have not developed strong hipbones, and their legs and
body are too short to allow the safety belt to fit properly. Safety belts are designed for
small adults. The lap portion of the safety belt must fit low and tight across the upper
thighs. The shoulder portion of the safety belt should rest over the center of the
shoulder and across the chest.
To be able to fit in a safety belt, a child must pass this 5-step test:
• Be tall enough to sit without slouching,
• Keep his/her back against the vehicle seat back,
• Keep his/her knees completely bent over the edge of the seat,
• Keep his/her feet flat on the floor, and
• Be able to stay comfortably seated this way for the entire trip.
• Never put the shoulder portion of the safety belt under the child's arm or behind the
child's back. This can cause severe internal injuries in a crash. If the safety belt does
not fit properly the child should use a belt-positioning booster seat.
• Always check how the safety belt fits on the child in every vehicle. A belt-
positioning booster seat may be needed in some vehicles and not in others.
• WARNING: The back seat is the safest
place in the event of a crash. Children 12
and under should ride properly restrained
• Never place a rear-facing infant seat in
front of an active airbag.
• Children should remain rear-facing as long
as possible and…
• EVERYONE needs to buckle up, every trip,
Buckle Up—it saves lives!
IL Dept. of Transportation, Child Passenger Safety
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
American Academy of Pediatrics
Safe Kids Worldwide
Booster Seat information
For more Information on Child
Northwestern OP Coordinator Collar and Cook Counties OP Coordinator
Melanie Wingo Bob Brasky
Northern Illinois University- Rockford Rush-Copley Medical Center
PHONE: 815-761-7365 PHONE: 847-658-4172
FAX: 815-753-8766 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago OP Coordinator West Central OP Coordinator
Wanda Vazquez Jessi Hopkins
Centro San Bonifacio Child Care Resource and Referral Network
PHONE: 773-481-1967 PHONE: 309-828-1892 x214
FAX : 773-252-9195 FAX: 309-828-0526
EMAIL: email@example.com EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
East Central OP Coordinator Southwestern OP Coordinator
Jennifer Toney Rachel Walker
Child Care Resource and Referral Network Southern Illinois University Safety Center
PHONE: 309-828-1892 x 213 PHONE: 618-453-1359
FAX: 309-828-0526 FAX: 618-453-2879
EMAIL: email@example.com EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeastern OP Coordinator Special Needs CPS Resource Center
Kathy White Yvette Whitehurst
Child Care Resource and Referral Network Children’s Hospital of Illinois
PHONE: 618-308-1181 PHONE: 309-671-4825