Harford County Child Passenger Safety Team Kick Off Car Seat Inspection Events
Proper use of Child Safety Seats Can Reduce the Risk of Injury and Death
[July 10, 2013, Harford County, MD] - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injuries and death among children in the United States. Many of these deaths and injuries occur because children are not restrained correctly when riding in motor vehicles. Experience at car seat checks in Maryland reveals that approximately 75 percent of children are riding in the wrong type of seat, or in seats that are not correctly installed in the vehicle.
But these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age and size appropriate car and booster seats and correctly using the restraint can reduce serious and fatal injuries to children by half. The newly created Harford County Child Passenger Safety Technician Team (CPST Team) wants to raise driver awareness and do just that! The CPST Team is pleased to announce the start of a monthly car seat inspection event. The Events will be held once a month and rotate between four standardized locations in an effort to reach all areas of Harford County. The first event will be held on Friday, July 19 from 2:00-5:00 at Jones Junction Kia, 2001 Bel Air Rd, Fallston, MD. Police Officers from the Maryland State Police, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Aberdeen, Bel Air, Havre de Grace and Harford Community College Department of Public Safety who are Certified Child Passenger Safety Seat technicians will conduct free, no appointment necessary car seat inspections.
Car seats are most effective when used correctly each time. According to a recent CDC study, more than 618,000 children aged 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a safety or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time. When used, most caregivers think they are using their car seat correctly, but the results of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey found many car seat installations fall into a "Top Five" list of common mistakes. The CPST Team wants to help you find out if you are correctly using your seat(s) and learn more about how to keep children safe in the car.
To prepare for the inspection, caregivers should:
- arrive with car seat(s) already installed in the vehicle to the best of their ability
- bring both the vehicle and safety seat(s) owner's manuals with them
- be prepared to ask questions and be involved in the seat checking process
Technicians will check child seats for proper seat selection, installation and harness use, teach caregivers how to make corrections and answer caregiver questions.
Starting in August, monthly Safety Seat Inspections will be held at various locations in Harford County on the first Wednesday of each month. The next event will be held on Wednesday, August 7th from 3 to 6 PM at the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corp, 1601 Level Road, Havre de Grace. The public is invited, there is no fee for the service, but reservations are necessary. Parents/caregivers are requested to bring vehicle and car seat owner's manuals with them. It is also helpful to have the child present as well to verify the correct fit of the straps of the seat. Registration for one of the Wednesday sessions or for a list of all the county dates and times can be made by calling the Harford County Child Passenger Safety Line at 410-638-4510. A list of dates and sites may also be found at www.mdkiss.org, click on "car seat inspections."