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State Farm, TEMS team up for Car Seat Safety Day on Oct. 17

SUPPORTING SAFETY — State Farm Insurance agent Casie Johnson presented a $2,000 donation to Jefferson County 911 Director Rob Herrington, left, and Capt. Jeremiah Lucas of the Toronto Emergency Medical Service Joint Ambulance District for a Car Seat Safety Day event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage at 525 county Road 43 in Wintersville. (Photo by Warren Scott)

WINTERSVILLE — A local insurance agency and area emergency departments are working together to protect children against injury in the event of an auto accident.

State Farm Insurance agent Casie Johnson recently donated $2,000 for the Car Seat Safety Day event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage at 525 county Road 43 near state Route 43.

Trooper Josh O’Donnell of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Capt. Jeremiah Lucas of the Toronto Emergency Medical Service Joint Ambulance District will be on hand to ensure car seats are properly installed and provide a limited number of replacement seats for those who have expired or been recalled or don’t properly fit the child involved.

Lucas said seats also are available to income-eligible families through the Ohio Department of Health’s Buckles Buckeyes program. Those unable to attend the event can apply by contacting Lucas at (740) 537-3891 or frogmedic7404@gmail.com.

He and Rob Herrington, director of the Jefferson County 911 Center, encourage parents and guardians to take advantage of the event, noting it’s more challenging today to properly install many car seats.

Lucas said a study by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration found that 59 percent of randomly checked car seats were improperly installed.

State Farm has reported common mistakes are: Failing to attach the seat tightly to the vehicle; failing to fasten the harness tightly around the child; graduating children ages 4 to 8 to a seat belt, while also using a booster seat; not using the chest clip correctly; and not using a locking clip.

Lucas said about 50 area families take part in the event each year, though there were as many as 82 one year.

He added one year six safety seats in the passenger van of a large family were checked.

Herrington said he’s seen firsthand how child safety seats have protected young passengers in accidents.

“We had a couple of wrecks last year where people said they got seats through this, so it’s nice to see the benefit of it,” he said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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