Police have a warning for parents - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Police have a warning for parents

July 28, 2006

Albany -- They want you to make sure you use child safety seats for your young children and use them properly.   Earlier this week, an 11-month old infant was thrown from a vehicle after the car he was riding in got into a wreck.  

The baby is okay, but his mother has been charged with not properly restraining him, and it serves as a reminder for parents to put their children's safety first.    

DCP officer Jeremiah Finn is a new dad. He says, "I just had a baby. He's eight weeks old, today."

A proud father, and a protective one. "I've already educated my wife on how to go about placing him in a car safety seat when I'm not around," says Finn, "but when I'm there, I make sure everything is done to the T. Because I would hate to get in an accident and something happen to my baby."

And he hopes other parents feel the same way.  "We have seen incidents where kids have been ejected from vehicles, even inside the child safety seat, but they weren't properly secured."

Like this wreck that happened a few days ago. An 11-month old baby flew out of the window. Fortunately, he was at least in a car seat and was only scratched up, but it could have been much worse.

"We as adults, we decide whether or not we want to, but the children, they don't really have a choice. We as adults need to step up and make sure the kids out here are safe," says Finn.

"I'm always worried I'm not doing something right. I'm always worried that I'm doing something wrong," says Kevin Davis, also a new father.

He says he was terrified when he first put his little boy into a car seat. Was it really secure? "At first I was kind of leery about it," says Davis, "but once you do it one time, you pretty got it under control it's not hard." Besides, he already follows all the other rules. "I always obey the speed limits," he says. "I'm always concerned about what he's doing."

So why not do the one thing that can best protect his child in the car? "When you get him in there, you just pop him right in and it locks in and you're ready to go," Davis says as he demonstrates the car seat.

 Just in case there's any confusion, most child seats have labels, warnings and instructions all over and most of them, even have levels these days to let you know if the seat is in properly. But all car seats are different. Forward facing, rear facing, for infants or older kids.

Pay close attention to the manual, but if all else fails... ask for help. "We want to make sure the kids out here are transported safely," says officer Finn.  

Both the Dougherty County Police and Albany police have techs on hand who can help you install your child's safety seat. Just call before you go by to set up an appointment.

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