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Americus officials encourage car seat safety

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - The Department of Public Health (DPH) is honoring car seat safety this week by demonstrating and showing the misconceptions of car seat safety.

The department shared some tips and tricks to keep your child safe while on the road.

Three out of four children aren’t properly strapped in their car seat and if there was an accident, it could be deadly, according to Traci Reese, DPH program manager for child occupant safety project.

“According to Georgia law, a child has to be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat until age 8. They can (exempt) out if they are younger than eight but they’re at least 57 inches tall,” Reese said. “We want everybody under the aged of 8 to be in an approved car seat or booster seat.”

There are trained professionals in your area to help save you and your child.

There was a car seat training event in Americus on Wednesday.

“Everybody that is here today is a nationally certified child passenger safety technician,” Reese said. “That means they have gone through a 4-day training course and they know what they need to know about car seats and vehicles, about the different types of seat belts, how they lock and how to properly install your car seat and then also how to teach you as the caregiver how to use that car seat correctly.”

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office supports child seat belt safety week.

“In an event that we’re having an event like today and we’re out with a motorist and we do (have) a car seat, we always take a few minutes to inspect that car seat to ensure that is being used properly and that is properly installed,” Eric Bryant, Sumter County sheriff, said. “Which is very important for not only the safety of the driver in a situation standpoint but more importantly, the safety of the child that’s in that car seat.”

Bryant encouraged those with small children to not only look at the color or design of car seats but to know how to properly install your child’s car seat.

“Not only the car seat is designed to be utilized a certain way, a lot of vehicles now are designed to accommodate car seats once they’re installed properly. So with that being said, the education helps us better know what to look for based on what type of car we are inspecting and it gives us an opportunity to connect with the public and say ‘hey, this is how you should properly install this seat, this is what these belts are for, this is what these straps are for,’” Bryant said.

If you are not comfortable with coming to a car seat training event because of the pandemic, there is a virtual step-by-step learning call to get the proper training and information when out on the road.

Sept. 19-25 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

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