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Child Passenger Safety Week: Get Your Car Seat Adjusted for FREE

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Last October, Laura Henderson was driving through Cherry Creek – her two young children in the back seat – on their way to parent-teacher conferences. It was a typical fall day, and a drive she had done countless times before. As she traveled along 1st Avenue, another driver ran a stop sign and collided with Laura’s vehicle, crushing the side of her car – right where her 2-year-old sat in the back seat.

Laura rushed to get her two children out of the car as their cries and the concerning smell of smoke grew thicker. She pulled her 2-year-old son out of his car seat through the window, as the impact of the crash prevented her from opening the car door. All three were transported to the hospital for evaluation. Laura suffered from severe whiplash and her car was totaled. Her 2-year-old and 3-year-old sons were completely unharmed — and it’s by no coincidence that they had been securely strapped in their car seats at the time of the crash.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of 75 percent of children – who the National Highway Transportation Authority (NHTSA) estimates are not properly secured in car seats. That’s a startling statistic. Why would so many parents neglect to protect their children?

The problem is not usually negligence – it’s that many parents don’t know they have an improperly installed car seat, have their child in the wrong car seat for their size, or have not correctly secured the harness or seat belt, among other contributing factors.

This week is national Child Passenger Safety Week and Car Seats Colorado is shining a light on car seat safety – encouraging parents to be extra vigilant when it comes to protecting their children in the car. Every 33 seconds, a child is involved in a car seat. A properly secured car seat is your first line of defense in the event of a crash – which can happen at any time and when you least expect it.

Parents and caregivers interested in having their car seat inspected to ensure proper fit by a certified technician can attend these events taking place across the Denver metro area during Child Passenger Safety Week:

  • South Metro Safety Foundation (by appointment)
    Wednesday, Sept. 26, 12–5 p.m.
    South Metro Fire Station 34 — 8871 Maximus Dr., Lone Tree, CO 80124
  • Jefferson County Safety Fair
    Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – noon
    Arvada Fire Training Center — 6651 Indiana St., Arvada, CO 80007
  • Health and Safety Fair at the Medical Center of Aurora
    Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    The Medical Center of Aurora — 1501 S Potomac St, Aurora, Colorado 80012
  • West Metro Fire CPS Fit Station (by appointment)
    Tuesday, Sept. 25 — West Metro Fire Station 16, 3880 Upham Street, Wheat Ridge 80033
    Friday, Sept. 28 — West Metro Fire Station 10, corner of Hampden & Kipling, Lakewood 80235You can also have your car seat inspected year-round by visiting a Car Seats Colorado inspection station. See a list of locations in your area here. In addition, you can contact your local fire station or law enforcement agency to see if they offer car seat inspections.

If you’re unsure whether your child is in the right car seat for their size, Car Seats Colorado recommends checking NHTSA’s safety guidelines here.

By Colorado State Patrol Trooper Tim Sutherland, Program Coordinator for Car Seats Colorado

 

 

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