Safe Kids Sandhills and Chase County Community Hospital will hold a child safety seat checkup event Saturday, Oct. 13, at Harchelroad Motors in Imperial. The event is from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and is free to the public.
During this event, certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats for proper installation and to identify recalled seats. Replacement seats will be available at reduced cost for those needing new seats. There is no charge to have car seats checked.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children in their seats, so that proper fit can be ensured, and should plan approximately 30 minutes per seat. Parents should bring the owner’s manuals to their vehicle and car seat, if available.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one to 13. Crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2010 shows that about two children 12 or younger were killed and 325 were injured each day in passenger vehicles.
“You can never predict or control what other drivers might do or how the weather might change the safety of a roadway,” said Scott Eveland, chapter coordinator for Safe Kids Sandhills.
“The best way to protect your kids is to put them in the right car seats for their age and size and use those seats correctly on every trip, every time, he said.
Eveland also urged parents to follow NHTSA’s car seat recommendations that recommend parents and caregivers keep children in their restraint types for as long as possible according to manufacturer instructions before moving them to the next type.
For maximum safety, a parent or caregiver should have the car seat installation inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure their children are in the right seats for their age and size.
Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat.
Here is some basic information by age:
For the best possible protection, your child under age one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age two or older. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
Keep your child in a booster seat until the child is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
There will be translators available at Saturday’s event for Spanish-speaking residents. Also, goodie bags will be passed out to all participating families.
For more information on car seat safety, Child Passenger Safety Week and to find other seat check events, visit www.safercar.gov/therightseat.
Questions about the event may be directed to Heather Schoenholz at 308-882-7299. Parents may also visit www.SafeKidsNebraska.org for more information about car seat use and other events.