Is your child’s car seat installed properly? | Experts warn against these common mistakes
According to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, 80% of car seats are not installed properly.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Is your child’s car seat installed properly? According to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, 80% of car seats are not installed properly.
“With 80%, that’s a lot. That’s a huge number,” said Shenaiah Thomas, Injury Prevention Coordinator with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
This week for Child Passenger Safety Week, health experts are educating parents on car seat safety. Marci Weaver, a car seat technician with Knoxville Police Department, said she knows car seats can be confusing.
“The seat itself, there’s so many facets with the seat that you can get wrong. Some are simple, some are not so simple,” Weaver said.
The Knoxville Police Department offers Child Safety Seat Checkpoints year-round by appointment. The checks are free with a certified car seat technician.
It’s tempting to try to save some money, but experts warn against second-hand seats. They say seats purchased at thrift stores or passed-down seats could have underlying damage that you can’t see.
“On the outside, you don’t know. Everything looks correct, everything looks like it’s there and unbeknownst to you, there could be some damage inside the car seat that could make it unsafe in a car accident,” Thomas said.
When it comes to buying a new seat, experts said to avoid buying any accessories that didn’t come with the car seat, like add-on mirrors or toys.
“If the car seat did not come that way, we do not encourage families or caregivers to buy any attachments that were not already with the car seat because they were not crash tested with that add-on,” Thomas said.
Thomas said parents should always read the fine print. Car seats do expire and are clearly marked with an expiration date.
As the cooler temperatures reach our area, Thomas and Weaver emphasize the importance of paying attention to what your child is wearing. Thomas advised parents to take off any jackets or coats before placing their child in their car seat. The extra clothing could prevent the child from being properly strapped into the seat.
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