Car seat installation key to safe ride

LANDOVER, Md. – A car seat is no guarantee of child safety.

Many kids are actually in danger as a result of the size and installation of car seats, inspectors say.

Recent inspections in Prince George’s County have highlighted the problem. During one car seat inspection event, 100 percent of the seats that inspectors checked out were improperly installed.

“Most people don’t know that there is a proper way” to install the car seats, says Joyce Beck, a community outreach specialist with the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“They’re not reading that little manufacturer’s booklet or set of instructions,” she says.

Parents and guardians have another chance to check out their car seats on Wednesday.

Inspectors will be at the Ourisman Car Dealership at 2404 Crain Highway in Bowie from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Technicians request that parents bring with them the manufacturer’s manuals for both their vehicle and the car seat.

Police offer other safety tips for parents.

“Children should be rear-facing up to 2 years old,” says Sgt. Dove Robison, citing the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The law says 1 (year old), but for safety reasons they should stay up until 2.”

Police try to offer one inspection event per month. Often, they have extra seats available for parents who may not be using an appropriate size.

“It’s an overall thing, not just installing it into the car correctly, but putting the child in the seat correctly and in the correct seat for the child,” Robison says.

Follow @mollenbeckWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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