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How parents of young kids can get a car seat safety check for free

This week is a good one for parents of young children to get their car seats checked.

The Forsyth County Fire Department and Safe Kids Forsyth are partnering during Child Passenger Safety Week to host a free car seat checkup event on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Old Navy on Market Place Blvd.

Residents can also schedule an appointment to have their child’s safety seat inspected and installed by a child passenger safety technician anytime year-round at a participating county fire station. Inspections can be scheduled for Tuesdays at Fire Station 2 (4055 Carolene Way) and Thursdays at Fire Station 12 (3530 Settingdown Rd.).

The appointments are more than just inspections as they are also are intended to be training for caregivers so that they can learn proper installation techniques.

Safe Kids reports that the number of children killed in cars is the highest level in 10 years. An average of 650 children ages 0 through 10 – nearly two every day – died as passengers in motor vehicles in 2016. Almost 40 percent of child victims in fatal motor vehicle crashes were totally unrestrained, according to 2016 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts.

Child restraint systems, when used properly, decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent among infants, 54 percent among toddlers and 45 percent among children ages 4 to 8 years, according to the NHTSA.

“These frightening numbers remind us that it is critical for babies, toddlers and children to be in a car seat or booster seat, and later a seat belt, any time they are in a vehicle,” said Safe Kids Forsyth Coordinator Bridgette Butynski in a press release. “It is essential that they are properly restrained. That means being in right kind of car seat or booster that is correctly installed – and correctly used each and every time.”

Call (678) 455-8072 Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment for a car seat check.