SALLY SANTORA/For the County News
Caledonia Police Officer Brandon Sailey fits nine month old Logan with a new child safety seat.
Car seat check keeps kids safe
It’s estimated that 95 percent of car seats are improperly installed in vehicles. Many are expired, meaning they are not properly protecting your child in the event of an accident.
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Traffic Safety Program in conjunction with Caledonia Police Department and the Livingston County Sheriffs Department, held a car seat safety check program at the Caledonia fire hall on August 18.
Dozens of people stopped to have their child’s car seat inspected by trained volunteers. CCE Traffic Safety Program Coordinator June Webster, Deputy Bob Halbert, CPD Officer Brandon Sailey, TRIAD volunteer Bob Mills and James Webster, all worked from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. inspecting car seats.
Webster said 22 car seats were checked and 15 were replaced with new ones, provided at no or little charge to the recipients, through a grant from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
The car seat check begins with inspection of the seat itself. Webster said often times the car seat was purchased at a yard sale, and though it may look like new and be a reputable brand, it’s possible it may not be safe for use. The car seat may be too old, they are only good for six years and everyone has a date on it.
It may have been in an accident, which automatically means it is not safe for use since car seats are built to sustain only one accident. It also may have been part of a manufacturer’s recall for defects.
Webster says that people are often very surprised to find out that the car seat that they thought was a great find at a yard sale really is unsafe for their child. In the event that a car seat is found to be unsafe for any reason, it is replaced on the spot with a new one.
Once the existing car seat is deemed safe, or a new one is issued, the volunteers proceed to instruct the parent/guardian on how to properly install the car seat into their vehicle and how to properly secure the child in the seat.
The car seat checks take place throughout the county from April to October. The next car seat safety check will be held on September 22 at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.