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Free car seat check keeps kids safe
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
The Texas Department of Public Safety says properly installed car seats are crucial to protecting children in case of an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33 percent of children killed in a car crash in 2011 were not properly secured.
Saturday, some Southeast Texas parents took steps to make sure if they get into a car accident, their children will be safe. DPS and child safety seat experts held a free car seat check at Classic Acura in Beaumont. Experts checked to see if seats were properly installed. Parents brought their children, so experts could check whether or not the child safety seat was appropriate for the child's height and weight.
Ashley and Joe Tolin want to keep their 8 month old son Dominic safe.
"He means the world," said Ashley.
"He's everything," said her husband Joe, "he's why we get up. He's why we go to sleep. I mean he's everything."
They want to do whatever they can to protect Dominic on the road.
"We made a lot of huge mistakes whenever he was first born," said Ashley. "Straps were incorrect, the seat was installed incorrectly, and we just went around because we thought this was how it was done, until we did a little research."
"It's really great just to have trained professionals and those who can help us make sure that we're doing everything correctly," said Joe.
Maranda Pierce brought her 7 month old son Jase.
"This is our world. This is our world," said Pierce, looking at Jase. "This is Mr. Big Personality."
Pierce says installing a car seat can be confusing, and rules and regulations change. She wants to make sure Jase is safe, and she's obeying the law.
"Heaven forbid we get in a crash and the car seat's ejected. I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that I installed it incorrectly. So, I highly recommend DPS. This is our second time doing an event like this," said Pierce.
Friday in Port Arthur, police say a properly installed child safety seat may have saved a child from serious injury. Trooper Stephanie Davis with DPS says, keeping children safe is why they hold child safety seat events.
"That's our main goal is to make sure if a child is involved in a crash that that child comes out of that crash uninjured," said Trooper Davis.
Under Texas law, children younger than 8 years old must use a child safety seat unless the child is taller than 4'9". According to DPS, infants must ride in rear-facing child seats until they are 2 years old.
Trooper Davis says DPS holds free child safety seat inspections, with child safety seat technicians on hand to install seats and teach parents the ropes, about three to four times each year. For more information on how to install your child safety seat correctly, visit DPS's website.