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Parents learn how to properly use car seats

LAWTON, Okla._The Comanche County Health Department is trying to save lives by teaching parents the right way to put a child in the correct car seat.

The health department does this program three to four times a year. Through flyers, radio spots, and word of mouth, low income families found out that if they qualified, they could get discounted car seats.

An accident in Altus recently put two children in the hospital after the car they were in was T-boned, luckily they are ok. Those children weren't strapped into their seats, which happens more often than you think.

Health officials say 9 out of every 10 car seats are installed incorrectly, that's why they have programs to teach parents how to buckle up their kids safely. Officials say the right seat, installed correctly, could save a life.

"It's the difference between a spinal cord injury and a broken leg," said Leslie Beavers, health educator.

They say teaching parents the right way is a good way to make sure that the children in our community are riding safe. They go through all of the motions when installing the seats, making sure the parents understand. Officials said babies need to ride in the back seat facing the rear, but you still need to make sure they are strapped in correctly.

"The problem with the infant seat is the harness straps are to loose," said Janette New, health educator. "It takes some adjustment. You want it to fit snuggly...the clip should be right at pit level."

If the clip is lower it could cause internal injury in a car accident. For those children riding in backless booster seats, parents still need to make sure they are buckled in correctly.

"The seat belt should always lay flat, as with this child, and fall on and around the hips," explained New.

They give parents tips to keep their kids safe such as how children should ride in the back seat until the age of 12 and that they should never ride in front of an active airbag. Children should ride rear-facing until the age of 2.

For those families that qualified, the car seats were $10 and the booster seats were $5.

If you are interested in the program or seeking more information, you can call the health department and set up a free appointment to learn how to properly install your child seat.

 

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