Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children ages one to 19, and often the deaths can be prevented with proper use of car seats. Safe Kids Macon County will be hosting the 3rd annual Buckle Up Baby event on Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Factory in Franklin.
“Not only is child passenger safety a priority for Safe Kids Worldwide, our local Macon County coalition has also made it a focus,” said Safe Kids Macon County Coordinator Deputy Josh Stewart. “Studies show that 75 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly. Our technicians want to help families learn how to use and install car seats so children are safe for every ride.”
Buckle Up Baby will feature free giveaways like coloring books and goody bags from local businesses to free books from Read2Me. There will be games and activities for children including a display of emergency service vehicles like ambulances, patrol cars, and fire trucks.
“We want this event to be more than just a car seat checking station,” said Deputy Stewart. “We want to create a fun community event that gives families something to do together while learning ways to stay safe.
Safe Kids Macon County will also have information on other programs such as the free gun lock distribution in which free gun locks will be available for anyone who wants one.
The car seat safety clinic provides the following important tips that will help parents, grandparents and caregivers begin to ensure that their car seat is used and installed properly:
– Right Seat. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date. Just double check the label on your car seat to make sure it is still safe.
– Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them, and everybody knows all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are big enough to ride without a booster seat.
– Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
– Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base where the seat belt fits. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? 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 (check car seat manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
For more information about Buckle Up Baby, contact Deputy Josh Stewart at (828)421-7950.