A properly installed car seat made the difference between life and death for a one-year-old in Thursday's fatal car crash on U.S. Route 24 in Peoria County, coroner Jamie Harwood said.
Kaitlyn Hines, 21, of Pekin was killed Thursday afternoon in the crash at Route 24 and Cameron Lane north of Mapleton. Her one-year-old son suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was treated and released from the Children's Hospital of Illinois. He was restrained properly in the rear seat of the vehicle at the time of the crash, Harwood said.
The Journal of Pediatrics said 22 percent of Illinois children involved in a car crash where someone dies are not buckled in properly or not restrained at all. Forty-three percent of kids who die in a car crash are not properly restrained or not restrained at all.
"The one-year-old’s life was literally saved because he was properly restrained in the car seat, and I am confident that had he not been, another tragedy would have occurred," said Harwood.
Harwood recommends having a certified organization such as Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois install your child's car seat.