MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - You baby proof your home and anywhere your baby may go. But, how about your car? More than 95% of kids are not safe when they're riding in cars because their car seats are not installed the right way.
That's a pretty scary thought, right? But, putting in a car seat is not as easy as it may seem. Lieutenant Leroy Smith with the Saraland Police Department is a Licensed Car Seat Inspector. He says there are all kinds of things that can go wrong when installing a car seat.
Lt. Smith explains the majority of the problems are with "the actual installation into the vehicle. A lot of parents will use LATCH and seat belt, which puts the car seat actually in two crashes during a single crash. Some of them don't strap it in at all. Some don't use a tether. And, as far as putting the children in, leaving the harness way too loose." Lt. Smith says any problems with your car seat can lead to injuries for your child.
So, here are some things to think about when you install your child's car seat:
- Look at the seat belts in your car. You need to know what kind you have: emergency locking, automatic locking or a combination. Pull the belt all the way out, and see if it starts ratcheting when it lets back in. You may need a locking clip to keep your car seat secure.
- Make sure the car seat you have complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.
- Don't use a car seat if the labels on it are curling. That means it's been exposed to a whole lot of heat, which is not a good thing.
- Don't use it if you don't know its history. Make sure it's in good condition, and not older than six years old. If it's been involved in an accident where the car had to be towed away, you probably want to look into a new seat.
That's a whole lot of information! So, to make it easier, we want you to bring your car seat to us to get inspected. Mark your calendar for Monday, October 29th. Fox 10 is hosting a FREE Car Seat Installation Day. Licensed car seat inspectors will be here at the Fox 10 Studios, and they'll help you fix any problems they may find. The Car Seat Installation Day starts at 7:00am. We hope to see you here!
For more information on car seat safety, click here . And, you can also get more information on Facebook. Click here for Fox 10 News Sarah Wall's Facebook page and here for the Car Seat Safety Crew's Facebook page.
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