OYS: What you should know before installing your child's car seat

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Monday, Oct. 3, 2016

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Every parent wants their kids to be safe, but some may put their kids in harm's way without even knowing it.

If you don't install your child's car seat properly, you could end up making a fatal mistake.

"If a child is not restrained in a car seat, then they're a bullet, they're a flying object in the car," said Bonnie Fulghum with Safe Kids.

She tries to drive home the importance of car seats.
Most parents understand that they're important, the problem, however, is installing them properly.

AAA says nearly 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.

"It's confusing because you have to go to the car seat manual and then back to the vehicle manual," Fulghum said.

They're installed in each car differently.
So if Mom drives a Nissan and Dad drives a Ford, you have to check both car manuals.

"When they have to swap it from mom's car to dad's car then they can do it safely," she said.

Another problem parents have-- transitioning car seats too soon.

"People fuss about the fact that we want them to stay rear-facing until age 2. That's because if we could put everybody in a vehicle rear-facing that would be safer," Fulghum said.

Each step your child moves up, the safety level moves down.
Rear-facing is the safest, then forward-facing car seats, next is booster seats, and the least safest is when they only use a seat belt.

"It is a benefit to teach parents how to put that car seat in safely," Fulghum said, so Safe Kids will show you how to install them correctly for free.

"We have our own car seat station here 5 days a week, you just call and make an appointment and you'll have a certified tech to come and put your car seat in and keep your child safe while driving on the highway," she said.

Some important things to remember before buying a car seat:
Never buy it used without knowing its history.
Car seats expire after 7 years and they shouldn't be used if they've been in a wreck. Even a fender-bender can compromise how safe it's suppose to be.

Make sure the car seat is certified, and be careful when buying add-ons, because many of them can be safety hazard.

To make an appointment with Safe Kids Augusta call: 706-721-7606
To make an appointment with Safe Kids Aiken call: 803 642-8809