Child Safety Seat Check Up

Date: Sunday, July 17, 2011 Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location:  Show map Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Fairbury, NE
Phone: (402) 729-3351, extension 4307

Child Safety Seat Check Up Event Scheduled for Fairbury


            FAIRBURY – Area residents will have a chance to find out whether their children are as safe as possible in their child safety seats during a FREE check up event scheduled for Sunday, July 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Safety Seat Check will be held on the south side of the horse arena at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Fairbury.

            Those interested in having their car seats checked for safety should call Sharon Vandegrift at Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351, extension 4307, to make an appointment.  Appointments are required for this safety seat check up event. The seat check is FREE. If a new seat is required for the child’s safety, available seats are offered for a donation of $25 or more per seat.

            “It is very important that all children under the age of 10 be checked to make sure they are riding as safe as possible in their vehicle,” said Sharon Vandegrift, certified safety seat technician and JCHC employee.

            Statistics show that up to 95 percent of child safety seats are used incorrectly. This free check up event will help parents and others determine that the children who ride with them are riding as safely as possible.

            The number one killer of youth is motor vehicle crashes. In 2005, 11 children ages 0-14 were killed and 1,695 children were injured on Nebraska roadways. In 2006, more than 7,300 child safety seats were checked across the state and 88 percent of those were being used incorrectly.

            Nebraska State Law requires that all children up to age 6 be restrained in a child safety seat or belt positioning booster. But safety goes beyond age 6, Vandegrift said. Typically, children up to age eight and weighing up to 80 pounds need a booster seat to fit properly in a lap and shoulder belt.

            Tips from the Nebraska SAFE KIDS Coalition include:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends booster seats for children until they are at least 8 years of age or 4 foot 9 inches tall.
  • Restrain all children in their appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt on every trip – and all adults buckle up, as well. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers ages 1-4.
  • Kids between about 40 and 80 pounds should be in a belt positioning booster. According to researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years old, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59 percent compared to seat belts alone.
  • Never put shoulder belts under kids’ arms or behind their backs. This could result in serious injuries in the event of a crash;
  • Never boost kids with pillows, books or towels. These won’t keep kids safe in a crash;
  • If your child’s seat in the car is lower than the child’s ears, use a high-back booster seat. If your child’s seat in the car is higher than the child’s ears, use a no-back booster.
  • Child passengers should NEVER be seated in front of an air bag. Air bags can injure or kill children in a crash that would have otherwise been survivable.
  • All children ages 12 and younger should ride in the back seat. For children less than 16 years old, riding in back seat is associated with a 40 percent reduction in the risk of serious injury.

            The child safety seat check up event is a FREE opportunity to have trained technicians determine if a child is riding as safely as possible, or if changes in positioning or seat use could help them to be safer. Those who are scheduling appointments are asked to bring their instruction book for the child safety seat and their vehicle owner’s manual, if available. They are asked to arrive at the check up event with their children in their car seats. Seats will first be checked with the children strapped in. Supervision will be provided when the children are not required to be in the vehicle.

            A limited number of replacement seats may be available, but there is no guarantee of availability. If a replacement seat is available and necessary for the child’s safety, it will be provided for a donation of $25 or more. Additional donations are welcome to help defray the cost of child safety seats.

            The local check up event is sponsored by FJS Safe Kids, Jefferson Community Health Center, Blue Valley Community Action, Fairbury Fire Department, Fairbury Police Department, Nebraska Safe Kids, Jefferson Family Home Care, and Public Health Solutions District Health Department.

            Appointments are required for seat checks at this event.

            For more information on the child safety seat check up event or to make an appointment, please call Sharon Vandegrift at Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351, extension 4307.

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