Keeping our kids safe is a parents top priority.  And one of the most-basic everyday items is also one of the most dangerous - if not properly used.  We're talking about the common car seat - something almost every parent has installed in their vehicle.

Not only does a car seat offer a convenient way to transport infants and small children, it also keeps them safe from harm.   But when not installed or used properly, they can cause more harm than good.  Consider the following facts:

  • More than half of car seats are not used or installed correctly
  • Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States
  • Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent

To help, the Superior Fire Department is holding a Car Seat Clinic on Thursday, July 29.  From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, parents will be able to have their car seats inspected, receive help from car seat technicians on the proper restraint and installation, and more.

No appointments are needed for this event, which will be held at the Superior Fire Department Headquarters:  3325 Tower Avenue.  Participants are asked to pull in off of North 34th Street (the street that faces the next door hospital) and drive to the overhead doors at the back of the building.

Safekids.org provides a variety of child safety information on the website - including information about car seats.  Here are a few tips that they offer:

  • Buy the right car seat:  Your child should ride in a rear-facing car seat at least until 2 years of age.  When your child has outgrown that seat, it's time to advance to a forward-facing car seat.
  • Install the car seat using the proper technique:  Decide whether or not you'll use the seat belt or the lower anchors that most modern vehicles provide.
  • Make sure the fit is right:  A properly-fitted harness provides the best protection.
  • Know when to change the car seat and then carry that plan through properly:  All car seats come from the manufacturer with an attached label.  Check that label for sizing restrictions, minimums, and other limits - including weight, height, and age.

As "the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13", car crashes are something to try to avoid.  Surely in conjunction with that avoidance is the proper protection that a car seat can provide.

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