Local service agencies announced that certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be offering free car seat inspections and education to parents and caregivers on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 9:00 AM at the Colusa Fairgrounds. The event will include lessons on how to choose the right car seats for children, and how to install and use them correctly.
“Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are often used incorrectly,” said Ginger Harlow with First 5 Colusa County, “and every 34 seconds in 2013, one child under age 13 was involved in a crash. No parents want ever to get it wrong when it comes to their children’s safety. That’s why we’re hosting this education event on Saturday. Parents can come out and know for sure that their kids are secure in their car seats.”
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research shows that 59 percent of car seats are misused.
Harlow added that using age-and-size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly is one of the best ways to reduce these deaths.
“More than one-third of children (12 and under) who died in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. Many of those kids could have survived if they had been buckled up,” she said.
Sponsored by Colusa County Public Health, the Family Action Centers of Colusa County, First 5 Colusa, and the California Highway Patrol.
Joining the list of sponsors this year is Victor Matamoros of Victory Alliance Insurance and MAPFRE Insurance.
He commented that after facing his frustration when installing a car seat, he wanted to bring awareness to the importance.
Matamoros and MAPFRE Insurance have donated some car seats for the event.
The Car Seat Check-up Event is part of a nationwide program dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers about the importance of correct installation and use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Parents will also be reminded of the importance of registering car seats with the manufacturer so they can be notified in the event of a recall.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seats, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re big enough to fit seat belts properly without help from a booster seat. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat of the car.