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Buckle Up

Keeping children safe while traveling in automobiles is the focus of the River Cities SAFE KIDS Coalition and to meet their goal the group is going out into the public providing car seat safety inspections.

Monday, February 26, 2001

Keeping children safe while traveling in automobiles is the focus of the River Cities SAFE KIDS Coalition and to meet their goal the group is going out into the public providing car seat safety inspections.

The safety group conducted a car seat inspection Saturday at Bob Clyse Oldsmobile in Ironton. Safety inspections began at 1 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. the group had inspected 22 cars.

Of the 22 cars inspected, inspectors found deficiencies in the use of all the seats checked. This statistic isn’t unusual, though. Within three hours at Hamilton Chevrolet in Proctorville, the group checked 31 seats finding deficiencies in 29 of the safety devices.

Andrea Perry, who works for King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky. and serves as chairperson for the coalition, said most of the inspections have found some improper car seat use. She said one of the more common mistakes made is car seats are not tightly secured.

"People don’t realize you have to actually get in the seat and clinch it down," Perry said.

Ohio law requires safety seats to be used by all children under four years old if they weigh less than 40 pounds.

"Children need to be in safety seats until they weight at least 70 pounds, though," Perry said.

She explained that children under 40 pounds are often not tall enough for the lap and shoulder belt to fit correctly. Perry said booster seats are recommended by coalition for children under 70 pounds.

Lawrence County Deputy Sheriff Jerry Elliott said five permanent safety seat inspection sites are located throughout the county.

Tim Jackson, SEOEMS South Point station chief, said each station in the county will accept appointments for the inspection.