By Danielle Craig
MEDFORD, Ore. — Car seats are designed to keep your most precious cargo safe, but four out of five of car seats are not installed correctly. That’s why local health and emergency professionals are holding a free car seat check.
Experts say make sure the seat can’t move more than an inch at the seatbelt path. One car seat inspector with the Medford Fire Department, says the most common mistakes are: the seat is not secured tight enough, the child isn’t strapped in properly or is turned from rear facing to forward facing too soon.
“They need to be rear-facing because they can’t take all the crash forces if they’re forward-facing,” Medford Fire Spokesman Bill Parks.
In Oregon, children must stay rear facing until they are one-year-old and weigh 20 pounds. Experts say it’s important to realize, as your child grows, the seat they’re in changes too. After the rear facing infant seat, your child will move to a forward facing seat. Next, children will move to forward facing seats with a harness. The problem to watch for there is children buckling themselves in.
“A lot of the kid will push that buckle down because it’s more comfortable and they don’t buckle them,” Parks explains.
There are still issues to keep an eye on as your child buckles into a booster.
“They allow the child to wear it too high on their belly, or down on their legs,” says Parks.
There are weight and height requirements for each seat. You can have your child seat checked out by stopping at the free child safety seat check on Saturday. It’s happening at Providence Medford Medical Center in the birthplace parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.