2012-04-05 / General Stories

Free Child Safety Seat Checkup

On Thursday, April 12, the Lee County office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a free Child Safety Seat Checkup event in Lexington in the parking lot of St. James Lutheran Church, from 2 pm to 5 pm.

There are rear facing car seats, forward facing car seats, belt positioning booster seats and high back booster seats. All these are critical in keeping a child safe in a vehicle, but they are not the most important factor.

Parents are the most important factor in ensuring that children are securely placed in the proper child safety seat for the child and the proper child safety seat for the vehicle.

More than four out of five car seats are used incorrectly. For older children, booster seats are often overlooked. Far too few children, ages 4 to 8, are restrained properly for their size and age. Only 10 percent to 20 percent of children ages 4 to 8, who should be using booster seats to protect them, are actually in them.

A safety seat can’t just be put in the car and snapped in. The safety belt must be routed through the correct slots on the child safety seat, and the child safety seat should be secure enough that it doesn’t move more than an inch from side to side or toward the front of the vehicle.

Certified child passenger safety technicians will go over the checkup form with parents and point out what is correct and incorrect with each child safety seat. The technicians will then educate parents on how to properly install the child safety seat.

Inspections may take up to 30 minutes each, depending on how many pointers are given to the parents.

Besides buckling a child in properly, there are other measures to take to help ensure child safety. Put bags of groceries in the trunk of a car or in the very back of a sport utility vehicle or van. In a crash, any loose object can turn into deadly projectiles.

Also, never place an infant in the front seat of a car especially with a passenger side air bag. The safest place for all children 12 and under is the back seat. For families with more than one child, tips on the safest seat positions for all the children will be given.

This checkup event is a community service. Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Lee County is working in conjunction with Texans in Motion and Scott & White Healthcare to provide this free event.

For more information on this event, contact Tonya Poncik, County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences in Lee County. You can call her at 979 542 2753 or visit with her at 310 S. Grimes Street in Giddings.

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