Kids Safety Event at Discovery Center Museum in Rockford
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St. in Rockford
In an effort to keep children safe and parents worry-free this summer, the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 have scheduled a free Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) event at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to stop by and create free kids’ identification cards and get help with child safety seat inspections.
A free K.I.S.S. event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the Discovery Center Museum located at 711 N. Main St. in Rockford. The event will take place in the museum’s parking lot. A touch-a-truck display will allow kids to climb aboard and get behind the wheel of a 26-ton Illinois Tollway snow plow or a Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) truck
“K.I.S.S. events provide free safety seat checks and I.D. cards to help keep children safe,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "With more than 80 percent of safety seats in Illinois installed incorrectly, these events provide a valuable service and peace of mind for parents, grandparents and caregivers when they're on the road."
2013 K.I.S.S. events also offer parents and caregivers the opportunity to have identification cards created for children age 3 and older. Specially trained professionals will take kids’ photographs and fingerprints and gather vital information to include on three personal identification cards – one for home and two for a wallet or purse. This information will not be stored by police, but rather, used by parents and others in the event of an emergency. In 2012, District 15 issued nearly 400 kids’ identification cards.
More than 2,100 children – almost two children per minute – are reported missing every day in the United States. Law enforcement and others need proper identification that is immediately available before they can take action. Many lost children can be located if parents immediately provide police with an accurate description of the child.
K.I.S.S. events will also provide certified child passenger safety technicians to inspect and install child safety seats and help drivers stay up-to-date with the latest safety seat information and educational materials. Properly installed safety seats eliminate a potential distraction for drivers and significantly reduce the risk of injury or greater tragedy for children in the event of an accident. And yet, 80 percent of child safety seats in Illinois are improperly installed.
“Child safety seats are critical to saving lives and preventing injuries,” said District 15 Captain Joseph Perez. “But, it’s important that the child safety seat is installed properly to reduce the chances of a child being injured in a car accident.”
Nationally, car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 1 through 12, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each day, an average of three children age 14 and younger are killed and another 469 are injured in motor vehicle crashes. In Illinois, 36 children age 14 and younger were killed in traffic accidents in 2011, the latest year for which statistics are available.
Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants younger than 1 year old and by 54 percent for toddlers 1 to 4 years old in passenger cars, according to the NHTSA. Over the period 1975 through 2011, an estimated 9,874 lives were saved by child restraints for children under the age of 5 in passenger vehicles.
K.I.S.S. events also offer a convenient way for drivers to make sure they comply with Illinois law, which requires that whenever a person is transporting a child under age 8, the person is responsible for properly securing the child in an appropriate child restraint system. Last year, District 15’s certified child passenger safety seat technicians checked a total of nearly 350 child safety seats.
To participate, parents, grandparents and caregivers should bring child safety seats, children and the vehicle in which the child safety seats will be installed. Information on recalls, correct positioning, correct sizing to protect the child most effectively, plus additional safety information and resources will be offered at these events.
K.I.S.S. events are scheduled at a variety of locations along the 286-mile Illinois Tollway system throughout Northern Illinois. For more information about K.I.S.S. events, visit the Tollway’s website at www.illinoistollway.com.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).