CHP Insures Safety With Car Seat Safety Checks

By Nolan Patrick Smith

High Desert Daily

(Victorville) Child safety seats can be the difference between safety and catastrophe, all depending on if the car seat is installed and working properly. The Victorville California Highway Patrol (CHP) office is doing their part to educate the community on all they need to insure their loved ones are safe in the family vehicle.

On Friday, the CHP office held appointments for free safety seat checks for all interested. Officer Melanie Weaver explained the importance of the checks, as well as provided some information many might not know of.

“We make sure that the car seats installed correctly and insure that the child is in the car seat that is appropriate for their age, height and weight,” said Officer Weaver on the importance of the car seat checks. When a parent comes in, preferably with their child, a whole checklist is reviewed in order to make sure the seat is working properly, installed correctly, is appropriate for the child using the seat, is not a car seat that has been recalled, as well as to insure that the seat has not expired. Yes, you heard me right, car seats, like milk, have an expiration date.

Officer Weaver explained the expiration date to High Desert Daily, as it is not something that is commonly known. The plastic that car seats are made out of do lose their quality after time, usually expiring at the five-year mark. Weaver stressed the importance of checking the expiration date, which are usually labeled or imprinted directly on the seat, as well as warning to not use a car seat that you do not know the history of.

Weaver recommended The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for parents looking for statistics and information on car seats. The site provides a current recall list, an inspection station locator, and much more useful facts and tips.

“NHTSA estimates that 80% of all car seats are installed incorrectly, and a correctly installed car seat can increase the survival ability of a child in a major collision by over 70%,” a staggering statistic Officer Weaver spoke of that proves the importance of these safety seat checks.

The Victorville CHP office is the local High Desert Inspection Center, and is only a phone call away from inspecting your car seat. Those interested in making an appointment can call the CHP office directly at 760-241-1186 during normal business hours. For more information from NHTSA, you can visit their website at http://www.nhtsa.gov/.

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