CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — This week is Child Passenger Safety Week. It highlights the importance of making sure your kids are properly restrained in car seats and seat belts. The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County is holding a car seat check up to make sure your kids are safe.
The Department said car crashes are the leading cause of death for children in our country. It also said 50-93 percent of all car seats and booster seats aren't used or installed the right way.
"Car seats reduce risk of injury to child by 71-82 percent, and decreases risk of death by 28 percent. Booster seats only decrease risk of injury by 45 percent," Farrah Fishman, the Department of Health in Charlotte County's Health Educator, said.
She said it's important for parents or caregivers to follow the height and weight requirements on car seats, and keep their child rear-facing for as long as possible.
"Make sure that they have no non-regulated products that aren't approved by the car seat manufacturers, like window sheets, toys, head bumpers," she said.
Fishman said the Department of Health in Charlotte County has Car Seat Education Classes all year long, but with this week being Child Passenger Safety Week, they're holding car seat check up events on Monday and Tuesday. You can make an appointment to get your child's car seat checked, learn how to install it correctly, get the right fit for your child, and know when it's time to upgrade to the next car seat.
This is by appointment only. If you're interested, call 941-624-7200 ext. 7273.
The Department of Health in Charlotte County also said some parents or caregivers can qualify for a free car seat.
"They need to show us a tax return from last year, or proof of enrollment in the Department of Children and Families ACCESS Florida benefits documents, such as WIC Healthy Start food stamps," Fishman said.