By Lucy Bennett
Car seats are supposed to keep your child safe, but they can’t do their job if they’re not installed correctly.
Three out of four car seats is installed wrong, according to AAA.
“Child safety seats will save lives, but only when they are installed and used properly,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George L. Bivens said.
This is National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Pennsylvania law says that any child younger than 4 must be in a federally approved car seat appropriate for the child’s age, height and weight. Children 4 to 8 must be in a booster seat if they are too big for a car seat.
To make sure your seat is installed correctly, you can stop by free checkpoints, listed below. State police also offer these tips:
•Read and follow the car seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions;
•Use the car’s seat belt to anchor the seat to the car unless you are using a child safety seat with the LATCH system;
•Fill out and return the registration card for your seat so you'll know if it is recalled because of a problem;
•Make sure the seat’s harness fits snugly; and
•Use a tether strap if the seat requires it.
Here’s a list from AAA of upcoming free car seat events. Most events require appointments.
Limerick Fire Station
390 West Ridge Pike, Limerick
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
To schedule an appointment, call 610-278-5119
1200 Old York Road, Abington
Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon
Schedule an appointment on-line at www.chop.edu/childsafety
Norristown Zoo (Booster Seat Distribution only)
1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown
Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
No appointment necessary; however, paid admission to zoo is required, and child must be present to receive the booster seat. For more information, call 610-278-5117 x6772.
Bucks County Dept. of Health
1282 Almshouse Road, Doylestown
Thursday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
To schedule an appointment, call 267-590-3510