Kids Identification and Safety Seat Events
Keep your kids safe this summer—get free Kids ID cards and have some family fun at an Illinois Tollway K.I.S.S. event.
The Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are teaming up to offer nearly a dozen free Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) events throughout Northern Illinois this summer to help keep children safe and parents worry-free.
At K.I.S.S. events, specially trained professionals take photographs and fingerprints of children 3 and older and gather vital information to include on ID cards that parents and caregivers can reference in an emergency*. Also, certified child passenger safety technicians check child safety seats and assist with proper installation.
* Neither Illinois State Police nor the Illinois Tollway keep this information in a database. Once the ID card is issued to the guardian, the information is deleted.
The Importance of Child Identification Cards and Safety Seat Inspections
Why Kids' ID Cards Are Important
- Kids ID cards help locate lost children by immediately providing police with an accurate description of the child.
- Surveys indicate up to 90 percent of American families will experience temporarily losing a child in a public place.
- It's estimated that 34 percent of parents wouldn't be able to accurately describe their child to law enforcement, including details of exact height and weight, as well as their child's eye color.
Every parent has experienced the panic of not knowing where their child is, if only for a minute. Parents should always be prepared with child ID cards. Two free ID cards per child will be provided at K.I.S.S. events– one for home and one for a wallet or purse. Registration for kids' ID cards will close 30 minutes prior to the end of each K.I.S.S. event.
Why Correctly Installed Child Safety Seats Are Important
- Properly installed safety seats significantly reduce the risk of injury and can save lives in a crash.
- A properly secured child safety seat is one less distraction for drivers.
- The Illinois Police have found that approximately 90 percent of child safety seats they inspect are improperly installed. Inspections allow parents and caregivers to make sure they are in compliance with Illinois law and that their children are safe while on the road.
Missing Child Basics
Information provided on Kids ID cards can help law enforcement search and recover a missing child. That includes a description of the child's hair and eye color, height, weight, race, unique identifiers such as glasses or beauty marks, as well as date of birth, current photo and fingerprints.
The FBI suggests that parents keep their children's fingerprints, not only because fingerprints are unique but also because they don't change over time like a child's appearance. The FBI also recommends that parents update the photos of their children on ID cards at least once a year to ensure they are current.
With increased public awareness, training, laws and better technology, the recovery rate of missing children has jumped from 62 percent in 1990 to more than 97 percent today, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Child Safety Seat Basics
Illinois law requires that whenever a preson is transporting a child under age 8, the person is responsible for properly securing the child in an appropriate child restraint system. The safest place for infants, toddlers and young children to ride is in the back seat with the appropriate child safety seat for their age and weight.
Infants should ride rear-facing until 2 years of age, longer if possible, to protect their developing head muscles and bones. Toddlers and young children should ride in a child safety seat with an internal harness until they reach the maximum harness limit of the child restraint.
A booster seat is the most effective way to position a safety belt properly on a young child's growing body. Safety belts are designed for adults who are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Until age 8, most children have not developed strong hipbones and their legs and bodies are too short for the adult safety belt to fit correctly without use of a booster seat.