Parents learn the proper way to seat belt their children in

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LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — National Child Passenger Safety Week was September 15-21st.

The Illinois Department of Transportation supported over 50 safety seat check events, and one was held here in the Stateline.

MercyHealth Apline in Loves Park wanted to make sure parents knew the right way to buckle in their children.

“It is very important. I mean, you always think it can’t happen to you, but it definitely could, so better to be safe than to find out the hard way that it’s important,” said attendee Bonnie layman.

According to a 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, on average two children under 13 are killed while riding in cars, pickups, vans and SUVs a day.

The organization says car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.

However, 46% of car and booster seats are not used properly.

This is where a car seat certified technician, like MercyHealth’s Colette Rossi-Luebke, steps in.

“We first want to make sure that the seats are installed correctly, that the children are then in the car seat correctly, everybody is buckled and in the proper car seats,” Rossi-Luebke said.

Layman is a mother of four, including a 7-year-old and 5-year-old, both use car seats. She says she tries to get her seats checked every year.

“I’m very paranoid about car seat safety, so it’s kind of a peace of mind to know that I’m doing everything right,” Layman said.

With summer ending and temperatures dropping, Rossi-Luebke says this changes how you fasten a child into their car seat.

“It’s always best if children are buckled into their car seat without the big snow suits, without the big, heavy coats,” Rossi-Luebke said. “Because then the seat-belt, the harness, can fit snugly against them.”

As winter approaches she suggest buckling a child in and then covering them with their coat or blanket.

MercyHealth technicians are available on the second Saturday of every month.

They rotate between the Rockton Ave. campus and Riverside campus.

You can schedule an appointment by calling (815) 971-5000 or (815) 971-7000.

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