Medical professionals encourage parents to pay close attention to child’s car seat


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Medical professionals at Vidant Medical Center are working to make sure parents know proper car seat installation procedures.

It’s a part of National Child Passenger Safety Month.

Some of the common installation mistakes staff members see include misplacement of the retainer clip and a seat that is too loose. The clip must be at armpit level. Also, make sure the seat is very tight and only moves less than an inch side to side.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly.

Experts encourage parents to follow the height, weight, and age labels on each car seat or booster seat. 

Also, make sure you never purchase or use an expired seat, especially one with a missing label.  Experts say seats are usually good for six years.

“This is a situation that is 100 preventable when a child is properly restrained in the right seat, buckled up every time, every ride any injuries are 100 percent preventable,” said Ellen Walston, Safety Coordinator, Vidant Medical Center.

“All seats meet the same guidelines as far as federal standards. They are crash tested in the same means and it doesn’t matter if you spend 300 dollars on the seat or 60 dollars a seat they are all crash-tested, but we certainly recommend it’s a new seat,” said Walston.  

Also, each seat comes with a registration card. If you fill out that card and send it back to the manufacturer, they will let you know if your seat is ever recalled in the future. 

Vidant staff members will not check your seat at the hospital; however, they do have a permanent checking station at Winterville Fire-Rescue. 

They are there the second and fourth Friday each month. 

Car seat checks are free of charge.

Vidant also has a “Child Passenger Safety Diversion” program. If you have ever received a child passenger safety violation, you can bring your ticket to the Winterville Fire Rescue station, go through a training session with Vidant staff and your ticket will be revoked. The program is also available the second and fourth Friday of each month. It is a 30 dollar charge. You must bring your license.

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