Correctly installing a child’s car seat can be a matter of life and death — quite literally.
According to Kim Martin, coordinator for a local child safety organization, motor vehicle crashes “are the number one killer of children ages 14 and under.”
Safe Kids joined with local emergency services and law enforcement to provide car seat inspections and advice Sept. 22 in recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week.
Out of the 12 parents who stopped by for inspections, two car seats were replaced.
“A lot of people are buying them at yard sales due to the economy,” Martin said. “If you don’t know the history behind the seat, we don’t recommend you use it.”
She said car seats that have been involved in car wrecks may have cracks or stress marks.
Martin said that about 96 percent of car seats and booster seats are installed incorrectly, another serious matter.
Billy Thurmond, director of emergency services, said those who did not make it to the safety check may visit Fire Station No. 1 anytime for a free inspection.
Fire Station No. 1 is located at 393 Memory Lane behind the library.
“We want to educate on this issue,” Thurmond said. “We want to make sure people understand the importance of putting car seats or booster seats in properly.”
According to research from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 8,959 lives have been saved from 1975 to 2008 by the proper use of child restraints.