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69 News Child Safety Seat Check helps keep youngsters safe

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 23 2012 06:00:00 PM CST

Safety Seat Check

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Installing a child's car seat can cause plenty of parental frustration.  And many times after tussling with tethers and confusing latches it's done incorrectly.  69 News teamed up with State Police Saturday to make sure your child is buckled up properly.

Installing car seats can sometimes be tough.  It's a serious concern.

"Unfortunately 9 out of 10 car seats are put in incorrectly," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Marc Allen.  "There are several different components to a car seat, it has to match the actual car and the child, so if all the things don't add up together it makes it unsafe."

Parents make some common mistakes when installing them so 69 News wanted to help out.  We teamed up with troopers to make sure your kids were strapped in right.  64 cars turned out to the event, 84% didn't have the car seats put in right.

"Basically what they told us was that the car seats that they were in they should be switched," said Rob Vitaro.

"It wasn't installed incorrectly," shared Mark Higgins.  "It was just a little bit loose which was kind of good."

For four hours Saturday Troopers checked seat after seat.  Families drove away safe and with useful information.  Parent's make some common mistakes when installing car seats.

"They usually don't switch the retractor to locking, so it's free flowing and it doesn't make it tight," said Allen.  "They also forget to tighten up the harness that keeps the baby in."

He says parent's should read the seat instructions and compare it to the vehicle's manual.  Also check the expiration date, car seats are only reliable for six years.

"Everything the trooper showed me I know for next time and I can fix it myself," smiled Tim Gilbert.

And know the car seat's history.  After one crash it should be replaced.  Also experts do not recommend buying used car seats.

"You can't take your children's safety too lightly," urged Vitaro.  "So if you're unsure you should get somebody who really knows what they're doing to make sure it's in right."

Families at the event also had the chance to get child ID's.  The Lehigh Valley Community Resource Center was on hand to collect all the vital information and put it digitally onto a CD.

"Now a days you never know," said Diana Soler.  "So we thought it was important if something happens at least they know his identification."