ASHVILLE – In honor of National Child Passenger Safety Week, the Chautauqua Safety Village is hosting two car seat check events in a statewide effort to ensure properly fitted car and booster seats.
Chautauqua Safety Village Executive Director Jessica Dayton explained the importance of the event, stating that three in four car or booster seats are installed or used incorrectly.
“Sometimes parents feel, because of the child’s age, that they’re ready for a booster seat,” says Dayton. “But depending on what type of seat they have, it can be really confusing to try to figure out what seat is right for that age of a child.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, an average of two children under 13 were killed, and an estimated 374 were injured every day while riding in vehicles, and more than one-third (38 percent) were not restrained in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.
“If the child is within an inch from the top of the seat, they’re too tall for that seat,” explains Dayton. “And it’s just little things like that that you don’t necessarily think about when you’re going about your everyday life.”
The NHTSA also states that, when used correctly, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger vehicles.
The checks will be performed by certified child passenger safety technicians including Dayton, along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department and the Lakewood-Busti Police Department.
“All the different car seat manufacturers make things different, and you can install a seat different depending on what type of car seat you have, or brand,” said Dayton. “So, it’s overwhelming and it can be very confusing, so it’s really nice to have that peace of mind that you’ve had it checked by somebody that’s been trained in it.”
These events will be held on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Thursday, September 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Chautauqua Safety Village in Ashville.
In addition to car seat fittings, parents and caregivers can view informational videos produced by NHSTA on proper installation of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats and booster seats. Information on registering a car seat and finding the right car seat based on a child’s age and size will also be available.