Statesboro firefighters will hold a free child car seat installation Friday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Statesboro Mall.
The event serves as a final exam for firefighters’ certification in child car seat installation following a National Car Seat Technician Certification course this week, Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.
Members of the Statesboro Fire, Statesboro Police and Georgia Southern University Police departments are attending the nationally certified class here in Statesboro.
“Technicians are certified to educate parents about child passenger safety and to ensure seats are installed correctly,” Turner said. “Technicians take an intensive course to get training and knowledge to properly install safety seats. Technicians must keep current, earning (achievements) to maintain their certification. While many people can educate about keeping children safe in vehicles, it's recommended that only certified technicians do hands-on installation of car seats and booster seats.”
Vehicle-related accidents are the No. 1 killer of children.
“Most of the fatalities are due to the lack of a child car seat, improper seat or improperly installed,” Turner said. “According to a study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, placing children in age and size appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. The problem lies in non-education of proper seats and installation techniques.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four parents do not properly use child restraints.
“Often, installation is incorrect or the wrong type of seat is being used for the child's height, weight or age,” Turner said. “For these children, the safety seat may not be protecting them the way it should.”
To help improve the correct installation and use of child safety seats, effective strategies include a combination of parent and caregiver education, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, laws and enforcement.
“That is why the Statesboro fire and police departments, along with other local agencies, are teaming up to fight against children vehicle deaths,” Turner said.
Once training and certification is complete, citizens can stop by either of the Statesboro Fire Department stations (1533 Fair Road or 24 W. Grady St.), the Statesboro Police Department (25 W. Grady St.) or the Georgia Southern University Police Department (3 Forest Drive) to have your child car seat inspected and/or installed.
You can also contact the Statesboro Fire Department at (912) 764-3473, Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911 or Georgia Southern University Police at (912) 478-5234 with any questions or concerns. There will also be several local events held throughout the year to promote child vehicle safety.