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Car seat inspections open
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Dawson County Emergency Services in partnership with Safe Kids will have certified child passenger safety technicians available to provide car seat inspections and advice from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 22 at Wal-Mart in Dawsonville. 


In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 19-25), emergency services is asking all parents to understand the importance of properly securing all children under 8 years of age in car seats and booster seats - every trip, every time.


According to Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford: “Nearly three out of four car seats are not used properly, putting children at unnecessary risk of being killed or injured. Car seats and booster seats, when used correctly in the back seat, are at least 60 percent effective in preventing fatalities.”


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research, 8,959 lives have been saved from 1975 to 2008 by the proper use of child restraints.


In 2008, among children under age 5 in passenger vehicles, an estimated 244 lives were saved by child restraint use (car seats, booster seats and adult seat belts). Research shows that car seats and booster seats provide the best protection for all children up to age 8.


To increase the odds of surviving a crash, Swafford offers the following four steps for kids to help parents determine which restraint system is best suited to protect their children:


• For the best possible protection, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping infants and toddlers in the back seat, in rear-facing car seats, until they reach the height or weight limit of the particular seat or as they approach 2 years of age. At the very minimum, keep infants rear-facing until they are at least age 1 and 20 pounds


• When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing car  seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds)


Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.


For more information on child passenger safety or to schedule an appointment to have your child’s car seat checked, contact Swafford at (706) 344-3666.