Communication Technician and Car Seat Technician Christy Bailey continues to assist the Fire Department with car seat installations each Wednesday. Numerous hours were devoted to not only checking and properly installing car seats, but also teaching classes through Mt. Carmel/St. Ann’s on car seat safety to health care personnel and parents alike. A total of 1,155 car seats were installed correctly last year. Nine out of ten car seats have some type of misuse with the installation that can result in a child not surviving a crash. The combined efforts of car seat technicians from the Fire Department, Police Department and Communications Division make it possible to assist more parents with car seat installation and problem car seats making sure that children are safe for every car ride.
The Westerville Car Seat Information Phone Line is (614) 901-6889. The Fire Division provides professional child car seat installations/inspections every Wednesday at 400 W. Main Street between 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Please call (614) 901-6889 to make an appointment. Please have the car clear of clutter so that the car seats can be inspected and installed more efficiently. If you are in need of immediate assistance with car seat installation, you can contact the Columbus Health Department Car Seat Hot Line at (614) 645-7748.
For further information on the child car seat safety classes offered at Mt. Carmel/St. Ann’s, contact Christy Bailey at (614) 901-6790.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, along with appropriately using infant and toddler safety seats there are several things a parent or caregiver can do when traveling with children who are roughly 4 to 8 years old:
- Use the harnessed car seat until the child is at least 40 pounds
- Use a booster seat for children over 40 pounds to 80 or 100 pounds and 4'9" in height. Continue to use the booster seat until the safety belt fits properly on the shoulder and hips
- Require all children sit in a back seat until they are 13 years old
- Make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a safety belt or is in a proper restraint every time on every trip
Tips on how to test if your child is appropriate for safety belt use alone:
- Have the child sit on vehicle seat with his or her back and bottom against vehicle seat back
- Check to see if knees bend at vehicle seat edge and feet touch the floor (optimally)
- Fasten safety belt across hips and shoulders. Check to be sure lap belt stays on hips and shoulder belt lies on the collarbone or shoulder
- The child should be able to maintain that position for the entire ride
If any of these items cannot be done, then a booster seat is the way to go. This information is important to not only in the daily transport of children, but also for field trips and carpooling.