‘Child Passenger Safety Week’ kicks off Sunday

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 12:34 AM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Law enforcement agencies across the Pine Belt will be putting in a little extra effort to make sure kids are safe in the car during Child Passenger Safety Week.

The Laurel Police Department teamed up with the Mississippi State Department of Health at Laurel Ford Saturday to host a car-seat-installation-and-education-check event.

“We come across a lot of accidents where the children are unrestrained or are not restrained properly,” Laurel Police Department Capt. Shannon Carraway said. ”A lot of people don’t want to read the directions to actually get the car seat installed correctly.

“So, that’s what we’re doing (Saturday), giving some pointers to properly restrain them inside and how to make sure the child is comfortable, too.”

LPD and MSDH gave away about 65 child car seats and booster seats at the event.

“It is dangerous if you are not using the proper car seat for your children, and we can help educate you on which car seat your child is best suited for,” said Kimberly Viehweg, public health educator, MSDH District 8.

According to Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers, car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids up to age 13.

“Not using a car seat at all it’s... I can’t even fathom why a parent would do that,” MHP Trooper Cal Robertson said

MHP says under Mississippi law, every child under the age of four must be in a child safety seat. It also says children ages four to seven, kids less then 4′9″ in height and children weighing less than 65 lbs must be in a booster seat.

Trooper Robertson says he sees a few common mistakes when it comes to the installation of child safety and booster seats.

“Make sure it’s the correct size car seat for your child based on their height and their weight...,” Robertson said. “I see it quite often where the child seat is installed improperly. And for some reason or another, I don’t know why, the parent will put them in the child seat and forget to secure the child seat down to the vehicle.”

For information on how to ensure your child’s car or booster seat is properly installed, click here.

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