Child car seat got you stumped? Here’s help

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2003

Certified child Safety technicians will be on hand at Turner Motor Company this Saturday to teach parents of young children how to correctly install and secure safety seats inside vehicles.

Woody Johnston, a coordinator with the Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, said the certified technicians will be inspecting safety seats for free and answering questions from 1 p.m.

to 4 p.m.

Frances Turner of Turner Motor Company said the inspection is part of the national Safe Kids campaign.

With many families using more than one car and children often being shuttled back and forth to visit grandparents, Turner reminded parents that they are not the only ones who should be familiar with the proper steps for installing a child’s car seat. &uot;Even babysitters need to be aware of how to do it correctly,&uot; she urged.

Johnston said most of the technicians are Selma area firefighters and law enforcement officers.

For the past four days, technicians have been training with Johnston and will receive their certification after completing a written examination Saturday morning.

Johnston said there are three mistakes that people most commonly make when installing child safety seats.

First, safety seats are not being secured properly. A few extra minutes need to be set aside to ensure the seat is in the right position and installed correctly.

Second, the harness is often found to be not tight enough. &uot;The plastic clip that keeps the shoulder straps on the child need to be at armpit level,&uot; Johnston said.

Finally, people tend to make the transition from safety seat to regular car seat too early.

When it comes to safety seats, the height and weight of a child should be more of an issue than age.

Since the police department is a partner with the state Safety Office, informational materials about the proper use of safety seats can be obtained from the traffic division or by calling 874-2123.