Certified child passenger safety technicians will offer free car seat safety checks and education to parents and caregivers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Union Health Medical Office Building Parking Lot.

Sponsored by Chances And Services for Youth in partnership with Union Health, the Saturday event is part of Child Passenger Safety Week and will include instruction on how to install and use car seats correctly.

Technicians will also help determine if a child is in the right seat for their age and size, and explain the importance of registering car seats with their manufacturers so parents and caregivers can be notified if there is a recall.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 46% of car seats are misused.

There is a deadly misconception that a certain type of vehicle may offer greater protection for a child. In 2019, 47% of unrestrained children killed in vehicle crashes were riding in vans, followed closely by SUVs (42%), and light trucks (42%). Children are safest when correctly secured in the right car seats or booster seats for their ages and sizes — no matter the vehicle type.

Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. These transitional seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.

For more information on child car seat safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.