Families turn out for first of four Kids Identification and Safety Seat events set for 2022
Cloudy skies and rain showers couldn’t keep families from flocking to the first Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) event hosted by the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a two-year pause in the popular summer safety program.
The June 4 event at Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview allowed parents to obtain free ID cards for their young children and have the child safety seats in their vehicles installed or inspected to ensure they are properly placed.
Despite scattered rain showers, dozens of families turned out for the event, with 70 kids’ ID cards being issued and more than a dozen child safety seats inspected or properly installed.
“We’re pleased that families were able to come out for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic to take these important steps to help protect their children,” said Trooper Duane Chappell, who manages the K.I.S.S. program for Illinois State Police District 15. “Properly installed safety seats protect children when they’re riding in a car or truck, but we find that as many as 90 percent of the seats we inspect are not correctly installed.”
Providing parents with ID cards containing their child’s photo and other specific information, including their height and weight—can help authorities more quickly locate and identify a lost or missing child, Chappell said.
This year, the Tollway and District 15 plan to hold three additional outdoor K.I.S.S. events through September as part of their Operation Kid 2022 safety program.
The events also feature fun activities for youngsters, including:
- Touch-a-truck display featuring hands-on exploration of a Tollway H.E.L.P. truck, snowplow and local emergency vehicles.
- Trooper Cooper, a talking, child-sized Illinois State Police car that offers simple safety tips to toddlers and young children
“We’re happy we have the opportunity to return to our education and safety initiatives that help keep children safe and parents worry-free, every trip, every time,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Lanyea Griffin. “Safety is always our highest priority and reaching out to families through Operation Kid allows us to help parents protect their children when they’re on the road and out in their communities.”
Illinois law requires that all children under age 8 must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system when riding in a vehicle with family or other caregivers. In addition, as of January 1, 2019, children under age 2 years are required by Illinois law to ride rear-facing, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall, to protect their developing muscles and bones.
The remaining three K.I.S.S. events are scheduled for:
- July 23 - Bartlett Police Department (8 a.m. to noon)
- August 27 - Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families attending receive voucher for one free admission)
- September 24 - Family Safety Fair at Itasca Fire Protection District (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)