SHERMAN, TX - When it comes to protecting your most precious cargo, a child safety seat can mean the difference between life and death. To kick off this National Child Passenger Safety Week we talked with law enforcement about the do's and dont's of child seats.
"If you're involved in an accident say at thirty miles an hour, if you came to a complete stop it would be the same as dropping your car off a five story building," said Sgt. Bruce Dawsey of the Sherman Police Department.
Even at just thirty miles an hour, a ten pound baby is far too heavy for a protective mother to hold onto.
"It would be like mom trying to hold three hundred pounds back at thirty miles an hour," said Dawsey.
According a study conducted by the C.D.C. motor vehicle related injuries are the leading cause of death among children of all ages In the United States. The use of a child safety seat can dramatically increase your child's chances of getting through a crash unharmed.
"I''ve seen first hand on accident scenes where a vehicle has rolled multiple times and everyone is injured in the car except for the child in the safety seat If it's secured properly," Dawsey said.
For a child safety seat to do its job correctly it must be appropriate for the child's age and size, installed properly in the vehicle, and adjusted to fit the child securely. But sometimes the instructions that come with the seat are hard to understand.
"The first and foremost problem with following those directions are the car seat manufacturers hire attorneys to write the instructions because of the liability factor," Dawsey said. "So you have to read those things several times."
Saturday, September 24, is designated as National Seat Check Saturday. Drivers are encouraged to have a certified technician inspect their car seat and give hands-on advice free of charge. For a list of inspection locations, or to learn more about safety seat installation log on to: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS.