Free car seat inspection |

Free car seat inspection

The Summit County Health Department is hosting free car seat inspections from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 22 at Home Depot, located at 1595 East Frontage Road in Park City. Parents can bring their car, car seat and child to the event and a certified child passenger safety technician will be available to provide one-on-one hands-on help with installation.

According to Safe Kids, a national group aimed at preventing unintentional childhood injury, 73 percent of car seats are not being used correctly. The group recommends parents keep their children in rear-facing car seats until age two, select the correct seat for the child’s weight, height and age, tighten the harness enough and know when to let kids ride in the front seat.

"Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent," Summit County Safe Kids Coordinator Geri Essen said in a press release. "Engineers are working hard to ensure cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. But it’s up to every parent to take full advantage of these innovations by making sure car seats are used and installed correctly."

For Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from Sept. 16 to 22, Safe Kids and the General Motors Foundation are recommending parents take 15 minutes to check their car seats to make sure they are correctly installed and being used safely.

Car seat checkup checklist

Right seat: Check the label on the car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height, and to make sure it hasn’t passed its expiration date.

Right place: Keep children in the back seat until they are 13 years old.

Right direction: Keep children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, usually until around age two. Move children to forward-facing car seats when they outgrow the rear-facing seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten the harness and lock the seat belt or lower the anchors. Continue to use a booster seat until your child properly fits in the seat belt, usually when they are between eight and 12 years-old.

Inch test: Once the car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.

Pinch test: Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots. With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at the child’s shoulder to make sure you are not able to pinch any excess webbing.

Courtesy of Summit County Safe Kids

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