CHP officers preach proper car seat safety to parents

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- According to the California Highway Patrol most car seats are not installed correctly.

Officers are hoping to change that by offering free help at a Central Valley event Saturday. It comes just a few months before new car seat laws go into effect.

"This is the forward facing car seat and again we're going to use the latch hook it onto the anchors down here," John Tyler with the CHP said.

Tyler is one of the CHP's trained experts when it comes to car seat safety. Tyler said 73 percent of parents don't install them correctly.

Many don't secure the car seats tight enough, use the right ones or they install them at the wrong angle. Parents of babies are the most eager to make a car seat change.

"A lot of parents ask me when can I turn my child around? How soon?" he said. "And I would basically tell parents to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible."

More than a dozen trained car seat installers will be on hand at a CHP event on Saturday, providing free installation and tips for parents. They recommend you bring your make sure they're in the right seat.

The event comes just five months before new car seat laws take effect.

Starting January 1, 2017, children under 2 years old must in a rear-facing car seat.

Children either 8 years old or under 57 inches must be in a booster.

"Traffic accidents are very violent things and so what we can do is put that child in the best possible position in the tightest possible position so the moment that there is a collision, the car seat will do it's job and protect the child," Tyler said.

Parents like Molly Rhoads of Hanford said they're happy to hear the car seat event is coming to the city.

"I have three children tow of them are with me today and one of them our youngest is four," she said. "And so it's really important to make sure they're safe and stuff."

The event will be held Saturday, July 9 from 9am to 1pm at Hanford's Fire Station on Grangeville Boulevard.
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