Car seat safety check to ensure your child’s safety

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’ve tried to install a car seat, you know it can be tricky, which is why the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is offering a seat safety check.

Two social workers with the office are now certified to inspect and assist with car seat installation, which can help keep your kid safe.

“We’re gonna go through the make and manual for that particular car seat the manual for your car,” said Tara Kasten, one of BCSO’s certified social workers. “We’ll check your child’s weight and height, as well as any other safety things that we need to keep in mind, in terms of like placement in the vehicle and whether it’s a car versus a truck.”

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Car seats and boosters can provide protection for infants and children but 46% of car seats and boosters are used incorrectly.

BCSO deputies have often seen what can happen when this equipment isn’t properly fastened, restrained or installed.

“We’ve seen various crashes over the years in traffic and the car seat is a huge factor in mitigating injury. I’m not going to say that that they’ll leave totally unscathed but less severe,” said Deputy Sheriff Greg Grundhoffer.

“This is gonna be one of those things, I’ve seen a lot of times parents don’t like to tighten this enough typically because the child is upset about it. It feels too tight for the child but it’s necessary for the safety,” said Morgan Bryant, a traffic investigation deputy.

While proper installation can be a matter of life and death, it can be complicated. This can lead to improper installation, which is where extra assistance can really help.

“To have someone who has been trained in all that and sit there with you and go through it and explain what it looks like, how to install it, if it’s correct, if it’s the right fit for your kid, if it’s for the right age; and just go through all of that and see if the seat fits in your car, all of that can be overwhelming,” Samantha Groves, a social worker, said.

If you’d like to take advantage of BCSO’s safety check of your kid’s car seat or booster, you’ll have to schedule an appointment, which you can do at their website.