More and more often, grandparents are becoming more active in the care of their grandchildren. A recent AAA Survey of Illinois grandparents stated that they drive with their grandchildren at least once a month.
Now the statewide Safe Kids program has started a new campaign, "Cookies, Cuddles, and Car Seats" - aimed to create awareness of the role grandparents play regarding the overall well-being of their grandchildren while driving.
Donna Baker has ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She says she knows a thing or two about shuttling kids around. She says she is very mindful about the safety regulations. "First off, we buy the right car seat - and make sure it's installed and take the children and put them in - there's always a procedure," she said.
Jan Hummel with Safe Kids Adams County says - that's exactly what every caregiver should be doing. She says because grandparents are not the primary caregivers, they not be aware of the proper car seat their grandchild needs, or how to install it correctly. She says this could be because when their children were young, these laws and regulations were not in place. She says one common mistake a grandparent or other caregiver might make is allowing a child (around six or seven) sit in the front seat, when they need to be in a booster seat.
According safety regulations:
1. Rear-facing seats must remain in the back seat, from birth of child to the height and weight limit of the seat; recommended up to two years old, but at a minimum age of one and 20 pounds.
2. Forward-facing seats must be placed in the back seat after the child has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat, to about age four and 40-65 pounds.
3. Booster seats should be placed in the back seat on children age four to at least age eight.
4. Safety belts are for children age eight or older, and taller than 4-foot-9.
To find out more about seat belt safety, the Adams County Health Department is hosting a "Safe Seat Check" event on Saturday, September 22nd at Central Fire Station from ten until noon.
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