Special to the Tribune-Star
CHANCES for Indiana Youth is teaming up with York Chevy Buick in Brazil to help parents and caregivers to make sure their child safety seats are properly installed in their vehicles. Certified technicians will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the dealership at 2456 W. U.S. Highway 40.
To get the most benefit from the check-up, parents should be sure to bring the child as well as the car seat.
“It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are safely restrained — every trip, every time, and at every age,” said Alia Hazel, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. “We are urging everyone to have their child checked to be sure they are using the correct restraint and that it is being used properly. Typically, we see a misuse rate of 80-90 percent. So it’s important for parents to let a certified technician check the car seat for safety, suitability, and proper use.”
According to Hazel, parents and caregivers should follow a few basic guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect their children in a vehicle.
• For the best possible protection keep infants in a back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible — up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. Never turn a child forward-facing before age 1 and at least 20 pounds. Keeping kids rear-facing until age 2 is safer and preferred if the seat allows.
• When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in a back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular harnessed seat.
• Once children outgrow the harnesses on their seat, they should ride on booster seats, in a back seat, with a vehicle lap/shoulder belt until the vehicle seat belt fits properly.
• Seat belts fit properly when the child can pass the safety belt fit test: the lap belt lays across the upper thighs, the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collar bone and the knees bend naturally at the seat’s edge.
• After children fully outgrow their booster seats, they should use the adult seat belts in a back seat.