Car seats are an important part of bringing home a new child. They are a large part of being the parent of a toddler, but they are often misused or installed incorrectly, according to officials.
According to Cumberland Valley Area Development District Highway Safety Coordinator Dreama Wright, child safety seats or car seats reduce the risk of injury by 71 percent to 82 percent and reduce the risk of death by 28 percent in comparison to children in seat belts alone.
“We want these children to leave safer than they arrived and sometimes it is from just the lack of education and parents don’t know any other way,” said Wright.
Wright assisted KSP Sgt. Greg Reams in a child seat check-up station along U.S. 25E in Middlesboro on Saturday. Additionally, Wright is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor.
The check-up included ensuring that the seat is appropriate for the childs age, height and weight, the appropriate seating position is being used, checking for recalls, an expiration date and visible damage to name a few.
“These checkup events are important because there is about a 95 percent misuse or improper installation of car seats. A lot of times, it’s small mistakes but those are mistakes that could be add up and increase the chance of injury,” said Reams.
Reams filled out a checklist for each child seat that was checked. This checklist serves as proof that the seat is installed correctly and denotes any violations or dangerous fittings.
If a seat was installed incorrectly, Wright and Reams helped to correct the seat and teach parents the correct way to install a seat.
State Farm insurance agent Chad Shannon helped sponsor the event and was on hand to speak with people about auto insurance.
Kelsey Gerhardt can be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.