Child safety seat check is set for Saturday

WINTERSVILLE – Chuck Vandine’s State Farm Insurance, the Jefferson County Health Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are teaming up to make the road a little safer for children through the annual child safety seat check event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at TEAM Chevrolet Buick, GMC, Cadillac, 1069 Canton Road.

The event will include inspection of child safety seats to make sure they are properly installed, tips on child safety seats as well as education and even free safety seats for those who qualify, according to Annette Stewart, Ohio Buckles Buckeye coordinator for the health department.

“A lot of people have concerns- 95 percent of the car seats we check are improperly installed,” said Stewart, adding it’s important parents and guardians ensure seats are installed properly.

Trooper Tim Zook of the highway patrol will conduct the inspections. He said the main reason people don’t install seats properly is because they fail to understand the procedures involved.

“They fail to read the owner’s manual,” he said. “The owner’s manual provides proper instructions on how to install the seats. I’ve been a certified child passenger safety technician for 12 years.”

Katie Rawson, team member for Vandine’s agency, said the program is made possible through a $1,000 grant from State Farm. She added the agency is coordinating the event, and the importance of proper installation can’t be overstated.

“We’ve actually had a claim where the car seat was improperly installed,” she said, adding there was an accident. “The child had to be (flown by medical helicopter) and ended up with 18 stitches in his head. A lot of people also don’t realize that child safety seats can expire.

“We’re also going to be giving away a State Farm wagon for one lucky youngster,” Rawson continued, adding there will be giveaways and a DJ from WCDK-FM – the River – there as well.

Zook noted all children who are 4 years old or under 40 pounds must be in a properly used child safety seat that meets federal standards. The law includes children with medical disabilities and medically fragile children. The use of booster seats also is recommended for children from about age 4 until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches, according to Zook.

The Child Restraint Law is a primary offense, which means a vehicle can be stopped by law enforcement, even if no other offense has been committed, Zook added.

For information, call (740) 264-0561.