IMPERIAL COUNTY â€” The California Highway Patrol, Burlington Coat Factory, Imperial County Children & Families First Commission and the Imperial County Public Health Department will join efforts on Saturday, September 24, to provide child safety information to local families during the Child Safety Seat Inspection Event. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians from partnering agencies will be offering car seat inspections and education at no cost to parents and caregivers beginning at 7:30 am in front of Burlington Coat Factory in El Centro. The event is part of “National Seat Check Saturday,” and will include information on how to choose the right car seats for children and how to install and use them correctly.
“Of the children ages 8 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2014, 26 percent were not restrained by an age-appropriate device such as an infant car seat, booster seat, or seat belt,” said Chris Herring, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency Manager, and “We are hosting
this event on National Seat Check Saturday so Parents can come out and assure their children are secure in their car seats.” Parents and caregivers interested in having their child’s car seat inspected by a certified technician at the event are encouraged to call 442-265-1388 before September 24, to schedule an appointment. The child must be present for their car seat inspection at the event.
Officer Fernando Alvarez, Public Information Officer for the California Highway Patrol stated, “motor vehicles crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research shows that 59 percent of car seats are misused. Using age-and size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly is one of the best ways to reduce these deaths.”
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Seat Check Saturday is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24. The week is dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers about the importance of correct installation and use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
Californians will be seeing changes in the car seat law in the new year. Starting January 1, 2017, children under 2-years old must be rear-facing unless they weigh 40 pounds or more, or are 40 inches tall or more. Children under age 8 must be buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat of the car. In addition, staff will be reminding parents and caregivers to check the back seat of their car before walking away to avoid leaving children in vehicles unattended. “Kaitlyn’s Law” makes it illegal to leave a child under the age of seven alone in the car without the supervision of a person at least 12 years old if the keys are in the ignition or the car is running, or there is a significant risk to the child. The law was enacted following the death of 6-month old Kaitlyn Marie Russell, who was left in a vehicle on a hot summer day. For more information on child car safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to safercar.gov/parents.