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Certified technicians inspect car seats at free event

Learn when to transition from one seat to another
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In recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week, parents and caregivers can get their child’s safety seat inspected for proper installation and use on Friday, Sept. 23.

Three out of four kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not used correctly, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to14.

Parents can reduce the risk of death and injury by properly securing their child in the vehicle.

“All it takes is following a few basic guidelines so parents and caregivers can determine which restraint system is best suited to protect their children,” said local event coordinator Jim Owens.

During the inspection event hosted by Safe Kids Placer County, certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and provide hands-on advice free of charge. Parents will learn when to transition from one seat to another based on the child’s age, weight and height.

From data collected over the past year, Safe Kids USA found that less than one-third of forward-facing child seats arriving at seat check events used a top tether, which is a strap at the top of the car seat that hooks to a tether anchor in the vehicle. This provides added protection by reducing the forward movement of a child’s head in a crash.

The organization urges parents to use the top tether, which can be attached to anchors in every car made after 1999.

~ Sena Christian

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Safe Kids Placer County hosts car seat inspection event
When:
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23
Where: Roseville Fire Department, Station 1, 401 Oak St. in Roseville
Cost: Free
Info: For more information, call Safe Kids Placer County at (916) 772-6300 or visit www.safekids.org

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Car seat recommendations

Birth to 12 months: Your child should always be in a rear-facing car seat. 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.

1 to 3 years: Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, until he reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

4 to 7 years: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

8 to 12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat in the back seat until he is big enough to fit in a seat belt 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.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration