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 December 3, 1999

Local Dodge dealer offers child safety seat inspections

In an effort to reduce the number of misused child safety seats, Valley Chrysler Dodge Plymouth has started to offer a free child safety seat inspection.

In an effort with Daimler-Chrysler and the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB), Valley has taken up the challenge to offer these safety-seat inspections to customers to help reduce the risk of injuries to children resulting from improperly installed child safety seats.

In studies done by the NHTSB, as many as 60 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed or fitted to the passenger. A 1996 study by the NHTSB reported that in 62 percent of the cases, either the restraint was improperly secured in the vehicle or the child was improperly secured in the child restraint or both. This study involved data analyzed from 120 accidents that involved at least one child and in which at least one passenger was transported to the hospital.

As a result of these studies, the NHTSB has found a partner in Daimler-Chrysler and its dealer network. Daimler-Chrysler is hoping to establish a network of 1,000 of its dealers to perform these safety seat inspections. “I just had a child, and I’m always concerned about my child’s safety and am happy with this initiative to reduce the improper use of these restraints,´ said John Weibel of Valley Dodge.

Weibel also stated that many parents will check the vehicle being purchased to see how the child safety seat fits in. Most people buy a child seat and attempt to install it properly. With one set of instructions for every seat and thousands of seats they can be installed in, how can anyone really know how to properly install the safety seat? The initiative at Valley will be available on a limited basis. Weibel hopes to be able to inspect more than 200 seats a year.

The inspection will take approximately 30 minutes per car seat. The inspection begins by first inspecting the seat and showing what was done correctly and what mistakes were made in the installation of the child seat. Then the seat is removed and inspected for any recalls and damage to the seat. The seat will be reinstalled in the vehicle and explained how to properly install the seat. The seat is then taken out of the vehicle again and reinstalled by the owner of the vehicle.

The National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends that whenever possible, children ages 12 and under ride in the back seat of the vehicle. The safest position for a safety seat, if it can be properly secured, is the center of the back seat.

A child should ride in a rear-facing seat until at least one year old and 20 pounds, and a rear-facing seat should never be placed in a vehicle seat equipped with an air bag. At one year old and 20 pounds, a child should ride in a forward-facing seat equipped with an internal harness.

When a child reaches the height and weight limits, as prescribed by the manufacturer, they should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat, to be used in combination with an adult lap and shoulder belt.

A child is ready for an adult safety belt with no booster when it can sit against the back of the seat and bend its knees over the edge, the lap belt makes good contact low over the hips, and the shoulder belt makes good contact across the chest and collarbone.

To schedule an appointment to have your safety seats inspected, call Valley Chrysler Dodge at 303-442-1687 to schedule an appointment.

For information on you and your child’s safety, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Boards Web Sit at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/.

In an effort to reduce the number of misused child safety seats, Valley Chrysler Dodge Plymouth has started to offer a free child safety seat inspection.

In an effort with Daimler-Chrysler and the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB), Valley has taken up the challenge to offer these safety-seat inspections to customers to help reduce the risk of injuries to children resulting from improperly installed child safety seats.

In studies done by the NHTSB, as many as 60 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed or fitted to the passenger. A 1996 study by the NHTSB reported that in…

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