FAIRBURY – Area parents and grandparents will have a chance to find out whether their children are as safe as possible in their child safety seats during a FREE check up event scheduled for Thursday, April 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Fairbury Elks Lodge, 525 G St., Fairbury.
Walk-ins are welcome, and will be checked as time allows. Appointments are available by calling Sharon Vandegrift RN at Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351.
Drive-up checks without advance appointments will be available during the evening of the event, on a first-come, first-served basis, until 6:30 p.m.
If it is determined that a child needs a different seat to ride more safely, a seat will be provided for a donation, subject to seat availability.
“It is very important that all children under the age of 13 be checked to make sure they are riding as safe as possible in their vehicle,” said Vandegrift, a certified safety seat technician and JCHC employee. “We especially want to encourage those with children who are ages 8 to 12 to come and learn whether their children would be safer with a booster seat.”
Statistics show that up to 95 percent of child safety seats are used incorrectly. This free check up event will help parents, grandparents, day care providers and others determine that the children who ride with them are riding as safely as possible.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of unintentional deaths for children ages 14 and under. Children ages 4 to 8 who are unrestrained have a 100 percent injury rate in a crash.
Nebraska State Law requires that all children up to age 6 be restrained in a child safety seat or belt positioning booster. But safety goes beyond age 6, Vandegrift said. Many older children may need a booster seat to fit properly in a lap and shoulder belt.
Tips from the Nebraska Safe Kids Coalition include:
- Restrain all children in their appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt on every trip – and all adults buckle up, as well;
- Never put shoulder belts under kids’ arms or behind their backs. This could result in serious injuries in the event of a crash;
- Never boost kids with pillows, books or towels. These won’t keep kids safe in a crash;
- If your car’s seat is lower than the child’s ears, use a high-back booster seat. If your car’s seat is higher than the child’s ears, use a no-back booster.
- Put kids in the back seat. Children are 36 percent less likely to die in a crash when restrained in the back.
The child safety seat check up event is a FREE opportunity to have trained technicians determine if a child is riding as safely as possible, or if changes in positioning or seat use could help them to be safer. Those who are planning to have seats checked are asked to allow about 30 minutes per child safety seat in their vehicle for the check itself. They are asked to bring their instruction book for the child safety seat and their vehicle owner’s manual, if available. They are asked to arrive at the check up event with their children in their car seats. Seats will first be checked with the children strapped in. Supervision will be provided when the children are not required to be in the vehicle.
Jefferson Community Health Center is partnering with the Fairbury Elks Lodge and Safe Kids Fillmore Gage Jefferson Saline and Thayer to offer this Child Safety Seat Check up Event.
For more information on the child safety seat check up event, please call Sharon Vandegrift RN at Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351.More