Safe Kids Columbia Spreads Car Safety Awareness

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CENTRALIA -Many parents do not realize child safety seats must be installed properly to provide the best protection for infants and young children. Safe Kids Columbia provides car seat fitting stations that educate, support and prevent injuries for children fourteen years and younger. Those events are for parents to learn how to properly install their child safety seat and how to buckle their child in the correct way.

Several parents have learned they were not securing their childen correctly.  One of the parents, Brad Imes, says he came to the safety event to make sure his car seat was installed the right way. "I think it's important to come out to make sure your child is safe.  From what I understand, a lot of parents come out here and their children aren't in the seat right or the seats not installed right and that can be unsafe for the kid."

Safe Kids Columbia offers some helpful tips and information:
• For the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing child safety seat in a back seat for as long as possible.
• Keep a baby rear-facing in a convertible seat until he/she reaches the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. For many children that will be 30, 35, or even 40 pounds. Many kids will be over age 2 when they reach that weight. Rear-facing occupants are safest.
• Face your baby's car seat to the rear and semi-reclined to no more than 45 degrees so the baby's head stays in contact with the seat and the baby's airway stays open. Read the car seat instructions.
• Every car seat has an expiration date. Generally, it is six years from the manufacture date. Many have the expiration date stamped on the seat. Contact the manufacturer of your specific seat to find out what its expiration date is.
• Never buy a used car seat if you do not know its full history. Never use a car seat that has been in a crash. Avoid seats sold at flea markets, yard sales or online.
• Do not use any products that did not come from the manufacturer in or with the car seat. Car seat fabrics meet strict fire safety codes.
• Have your car seat checked by a currently certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it is properly installed.
• Never leave a child alone in a vehicle - not even for a minute.

Safe Kids Columbia reaches out to Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cooper and Howard Counties. Child seat safety and fitting stations will be held every fourth Friday. The next Safe Kids car seat fitting station will be this Friday in Columbia at the Fire Administration Office from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Parents can sign up at