If you’re looking for information on free car seat programs in Illinois for low-income families, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what car seat safety is and why it’s important, as well as give you a list of programs in Illinois that can help you get a free car seat for your child.

Free car seat programs in Illinois (2022)

Free car seat programs in Illinois

Stroger Hospital

The Free Car seat program at Stroger Hospital in Illinois provides low-cost car seats to community members. This program is open to all community members, and you can call them at 312-864-2016.

DuPage County Health Department

The DuPage County Health Department has a Child Car Seat Program that offers free training and lectures to parents on how to install and use car seats, as well as how to keep them safe during travel. If you don’t have a car seat and come from a lower-income family, you can call the DuPage County Health Department at (630) 682-7400 to learn more about the program and how to get a free car seat.

Buckle Up Program

The Buckle Up Program at Lurie Children’s Hospital provides free or reduced-price car seats to help reduce car accident fatalities. More than 1000 car seats have been distributed through the program, and over 50 community conferences have been taught on various topics related to car seat safety.

Grant A wish, Inc

Grant A wish, Inc, is a program that helps families with kids in need of basic necessities. They provide items like baby food, diapers, milk, baby bottles and car seats. If you need any of these items, you can contact them. They are also in need of free car seat donations. If you want to donate or know anyone who wants to donate car seats, please guide them to their organization. All donations are tax-deductible and everything they provide to economically disadvantaged families is given away free of charge.

Alternative ways to get a free car seat in Illinois

There are a few different ways that you can get a free car seat in Illinois. Safe Kids Worldwide is an organization that is committed to keeping children safe from injuries. They’re a helpful resource for any inquiries regarding car seats and safety. Whether you need help with installation or you need financial assistance, Safe Kids can help you figure out what you need. 

Another beneficial resource, some hospitals offer car seats at a significantly reduced price, but not for free. They will, however, help you find somewhere that may offer free car seats or brands that have inexpensive options. 

Local government departments catering to women and children are an invaluable resource when it comes to things like this. 

Your local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office or the Department of Child Services are two of your best options. 

“211” is a bit of a hidden gem for anybody struggling out there. Not just with finding an affordable car seat, but other basic needs like food and rent assistance as well. It’s basically a way to find help without making a million phone calls to different departments.

 You can also find solace in your local CPST, or “child passenger safety technician”. These car seat experts are trained by Safe Kids, mentioned above, to help parents and parents-to-be with everything to do with car seats.

If you’re struggling to find out where to obtain a car seat on your budget, CPSTs may be your biggest help. They are constantly going through extra training and need to be informed of all car seats on the market, and can give you a few suggestions of affordable car seats that are suitable for your child and vehicle.

You’ll find that in many places, some police and fire professionals are also certified CPSTs. Even if they aren’t, most police/fire departments have the resources needed to help you find the right place to go.

What are the car seat requirements in Illinois?

In Illinois, effective January 1, 2019, children under the age of 2 years old must be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system. The only exceptions to this rule are if the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is more than 40 inches tall. Children must remain rear-facing until they reach the age of 2 years old. You can read more about Illinois car seat laws here.

Final Thoughts

The information we have discussed above should help you find free car seat programs in Illinois. If you fail to find any free car seat programs in Illinois, try to reach your nearest police/fire departments. Most police/fire departments have the resources needed to help you find free car seat programs if your state has any. Feel free to comment for more info.

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