By Minnie JonesNovember 26, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - According to the National Safety Council, car crashes remain the number one killer of children, however, many of these deaths can been prevented with the proper use of child safety seats.
The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Chrysler's SeatCheck program teamed together Nov. 20 at the Fort Sam Houston Child Development Center to inform and instruct military Families on the proper way to buckle up their children in car seats.
"We have found that by-in-large there are a significant number of children living on military bases," said Will Taliaferro, Chrysler spokesman. "And we want every single one of them to be properly buckled in to a properly installed safety seat.
Several car check technicians from San Antonio volunteered at Thursday's event to help military Families properly secure their children in motor vehicles. During the three-hour event, technicians looked for defective or improper seats; ensured car seats were installed correctly and taught parents proper car seat installation techniques.
Inspections were free and each check-up took about 20-30 minutes. If a car seat was found on the recall list, Families were given new seats on the spot.
Lt. Terry Owen, Fort Sam Houston Police Department, brought his daughter Brianna to have her car seat checked. He said he wasn't expecting to get a new seat, noting that he had the wrong car seat for his daughter's size and weight.
"I think it is a great program; they are out here educating parents, said Owen. "I really didn't know too much about car seats. My wife and I are expecting another child in March, so I got some pointers on how to install the seat properly."
Texas law requires that all children who are less than five years old and or less than 40 pounds, and or under 36 inches tall, must be restrained in a child safety seat.
SeatCheck is a national public safety campaign to help parents properly secure their children in motor vehicles. For more information or to find a car seat inspection location near you, call the nationwide toll-free hotline 1-866-SEAT-CHECK or visit www.seatcheck.org.
(Minnie Jones works in the Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs)