Maryland car seat regulations recommend that any child between the ages of 2 and 8 travel in a baby car seat at all times. Moreover, it is recommended that you should not place any of the car seats with your child init in the front seats. This is even more so when the vehicle has an active airbag that may cause serious injury to the child in a collision given that it is made for adults. According to Sheryl Brown of best convertible car seat hq even cheap car seats will reduce fatal injuries by up to 54% for toddlers and 71% of infants. You can find some of these inexpensive seats here. Nonetheless, a very small percentage of parents and guardians know how to use rear facing convertible car seats according to car seat recommendations. This results in very high yearly mortality rates for kids all over the United States.
To help ease the minds of guardians and parents , the office of the Sheriff St Mary’s County organizes child seat safety inspections on the regular. The inspections offered for free, are intended to make the community more aware and more proficient in the use of convertible car seats and is part of the many child safety programs that the St Mary County Sheriff provides.
The latest batch of car seat checks were conducted in November of 2016. Four certified car seat technicians who are also deputies were in charge of conducting the inspections. The deputies were looking for and training the community on proper installation and use of convertible car seats and providing recommendations on best practice.
The technicians Cpl.Timothy Snyder, Cpl. Chad Hartzell, Cpl. Andrew Holton, and Lt. Eva Jones were also involved in assisting parents and guardians in installing safety seats, checking that the seats had not expired or been part of a recall. In addition the Lexington Park Lions Club and the Church of Ascension donated several car seats to be distributed to the community by the County Sheriff’s office.
According to Safekids Worldwide these inspections help parents get to learn how to use a car seat according to recommendations from manufacturers with the help of technicians. They also learn the importance of ensuring that the seat is appropriate for the child’s age, height and weight and that they secure the seat into the car properly. The car seat inspection clinic ensures not only as an event to ensure that children are safe when riding in a car seat but also that the whole community becomes aware of their role in protecting children not only as caregivers but as an entire community.
According to Cpl. Snyder, you should never let a child that is aged less than 12 sit in the front seat if the vehicle has an active airbag on the passenger side. He noted that most guardians and parents are unaware of the regulations and recommendations to tuck in their child including the type of car seat for the different ages. This is where car seat checks are very important, as they increase awareness.
In addition to being available to offer education during the car seat check events, the inspectors are also inspect and install car seats on appointment basis. Parents and caregivers that require safety checks or are in need of any information can get such information by calling the Sheriff’s office and making an appointment with the safety department. If you are in St Mary’s County, take advantage of the free checks, do not be among the 32% of caregivers that are unsure if their car seat is installed correctly or even if their child is usually strapped in correctly.
The St Mary’s County Sheriff Office offers its gratitude to the Church of Ascension and Lexington Park Lions Club for the generous donation and sponsorship of the Sheriff’s Office Child Passenger Safety Seat Program.