News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 12, 2013

Free car seat instruction Saturday

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Safe Kids Vigo County of Chances and Services for Youth, supported by Union Hospital, urges parents and caregivers to make sure their car seats and booster seats are properly installed.

Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at Terre Haute Chevrolet, 5377 S. U.S. 41. The technicians will provide hands-on instruction on installing car seats and booster seats

“Correctly used, child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent,” said Julie Wheatley of Safe Kids Vigo County. “We want all parents to make sure their car seats are used and installed correctly, and that the whole family is buckled up every time on every ride. And we’re here to help.”

Car seat inspections offer drivers the chance to receive assistance and guidance from certified car seat technicians regarding proper installation of their child safety and booster seats. Parents can also check their own car and booster seats by using this car seat checklist:

• Right seat: The car seat label should be checked to make sure it is appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height. Each car seat also has an expiration date, which should be checked to make sure it is still safe.

• Right place: All children should be kept in the back seat until they reach the age of 13.

• Right direction: Children should be kept in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When a child outgrows the seat, they should be moved to a forward-facing car seat. The top tether should be attached after the seat belt or lower anchors are tightened and locked.

• Inch test: A properly installed car seat should not move more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-back when shaken at the base.

• Pinch test: The harness should be tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots, as shown in the car seat manual. With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinching the strap at the child’s shoulder, one should be unable to pinch any excess webbing.

Children should never be left alone in vehicles. This is important even in cooler weather. To help prevent this, parents should put something in the back seat with their child that the adult will need to retrieve, such as a cell phone, purse or backpack.