Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of children age 1-12 in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Edmond Fire Department is offering a car seat inspection event from 1-4 p.m. Friday at Fire Station 1, 925 E. Second St., to help parents ensure proper use of these important items that help keep children safe.
Common selection errors include using outgrown child restraints, a child is too small or too young for a child restraint, using non federal-certified devices, using a child restraint that is too old, using a child restraint with unknown history, using a child restraint that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash and using a child restraint under current recall.
Edmond Fire Maj. Gary Dill, who coordinates the EFD’s car seat safety program, said with so many different car seats on the market it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming. The best way to protect them in a car is to put them in the right seat at the right time and use it the right way, Dill said.
“It’s non-punitive. You can’t get in trouble,” Dill said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re doing everything wrong or everything right.”
Dill said typically there are two to three mistakes on every child car seat he sees and he’s been doing this since 2000.
This week, the Edmond Fire Department is training future child passenger safety technicians, individuals who can help parents know their seat is properly installed. The training will culminate with Friday’s event, when existing seats will be inspected and a limited amount of free seats will be available.
Wednesday morning, Roxanne Foster, a safety technician and instructor for Safe Kids Oklahoma, taught the future technicians about safety seats. In addition to Dill, the course was being taught by Edmond firefighter Brandon Thornbrue and Stephanie Zerr.
Foster covered topics including proper use of infant child restraint, what to do when babies outgrow infant-only child restraint, best practices for selecting a child restraint that will fit the child, where to place a child restraint and the proper installation angle.
Dill said technician applicants are being tested multiple times during the course.
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