During Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 15-21), Snohomish County Fire District 1 is offering free child car seat checks to help parents and caregivers make sure seats are properly secured and age-appropriate.
“Correct use is crucial. Many parents move their children up to the next type of car seat before it is safe to do so. That’s why hands-on inspections and instruction are so important,” said Kim Schroeder, a certified child passenger safety technician and public educator for Fire District 1.
The goal of National Child Passenger Safety Week is to make sure parents and caregivers are securing their children in the best car restraint for their age and size. Here are four rules to following when determining what type of seat is appropriate:
1) Rear-facing seats for infants until age 2:
For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, up to the height or weight limit of that particular seat. At a minimum, infants should ride rear-facing until at least age 2.
2) Forward-facing car seats: When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 2) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds.)
3) Booster seats: Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually when the child is at least 4′ 9″ tall)
4) Back seat until age 13: When children outgrow their booster seats, they should be restrained in the seat belts in the back seat, until at least 13 years of age. This is a state law.
To make an appointment for a free child safety seat check, contact Schroeder, 425-551-1254, firstname.lastname@example.org. Fire District 1 offers the child car seat checks by appointment not just during Child Passenger Safety Week, but once a month throughout the year.