Free check-up for child safety car seats

February 09, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Harford County Highway Safety Committee and MD KISS (Maryland Kids in Safety Seats) will check child safety car seats by appointment from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the vehicle bays at the Level Volunteer Fire Company in Churchville. To schedule an appointment, call committee coordinator Kathy Acquavella at 410-638-4924.

The program is for parents and child-care providers to make sure child safety seats are properly installed and being used correctly in their vehicles.

The checks are part of an observance of Child Passenger Safety Week, a national effort to draw attention to ways to keep children safe in motor vehicles.

Keeping children safe on the road means putting them in the right restraint at the right age, because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 4 to 14, Acquavella said.

More than 81 percent of child safety seats are being used incorrectly, according to a 2002 National SAFE KIDS Campaign study.

"Securing your child properly in the right restraint at the right time is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child," Acquavella said. She gave this checklist for use of child seats:

Rear-facing infant seats in back seat from birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.

Forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age 1 to about age 4 and 20 to 40 pounds.

Booster seats in the back seat from about age 4 and 40 pounds to at least age 8, unless 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

Safety belts at age 8 or older or taller than 4 feet 9 inches. All children 12 and younger should ride in the back.

For more information about child passenger safety is available at www.nhtsa.dot.gov or from the Harford County Highway Safety Committee at 410-638-4924.

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