BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA)—This week marks Child Passenger Safety Week and across Tampa Bay, the Safe Kids Florida Suncoast Coalition is hosting car seat safety training certification courses across the area.
On Thursday morning, Safe Kids Florida Suncoast, supported by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, hosted a national certification training course for local agencies.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, road injuries are the number one cause of preventable injuries to children in the greater Tampa Bay area, and in the United States. Correctly used car seats can prevent car crash-related injuries in children up to 71 percent.
Car seats are a safety necessity for the father of two John Lugl, especially when he is out driving on busy Florida roads.
“I not only watch the way I drive, but I got to watch the way everyone else drives because you never know,” Lugl said.
Petra Vybiralova of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital shared some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to car seats.
“Parents are often concerned with their child being too tight and they keep the harnesses too loose. They can perform an easy pinch test and if they can pinch fabric, that means the harness is too loose,” Vybiralova said.
Vybiralova also sees parents getting rid of car seats before their child is ready.
“Parents try to graduate children too early into a booster seat. The minimum weight and age is four and 40,” Vybiralova said.
Just like anything plastic, car seats don’t last forever, so be sure to check the car seat’s expiration date. If you do purchase a new car or booster seat, fill out the product registration card so you will be notified about recalls right away.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an online tool for you to find a car seat inspection station in your area.
Safe Kids Worldwide Ultimate Car Seat Guide: https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/