Staggering number of parents using outdated and unsafe car seats - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Staggering number of parents using outdated and unsafe car seats

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A warning for parents-- Is your child's car seat working properly keeping them safe in the car?

A staggering number of parents are using outdated car seats, and they don't even know it.

So how do you know if your car seat is still good to use?

The key to safety is finding a newer seat that's properly installed in your car.

Safe Kids Adams County held its monthly car seat safety check Friday, helping parents make sure their child is riding safely in an appropriate car seat.

It's a very quick process Lisa Harmann credits for saving her son's life after an accident when he was just a few months old.

"We took Matthew to the doctor to be checked and they said the car seat must have been installed so properly because they couldn't even tell that he was in a wreck," said Harmann.

Harmann credits Safe Kids coordinator Jan Hummel with helping her to install Matthew's car seat just five weeks before the wreck.

"The biggest thing that we see is people don't know how to lock the belts of their vehicle so therefore the seatbelt that's holding the car seat in place never gets tight," said Hummel.

But the most dangerous and most common problem Hummel sees with car seats today, too many outdated seats still being used.

"This is the manufacture date, January 1998, that's over 15 years ago," said Hummel.

Hummel says many car seats now have expiration dates on them, and you shouldn't use one that's more than six years old and she warns families never to use hand-me down seats.

"As much as I believe in re-using everything and re-selling it when it comes to child passenger safety, you can not try and save $5 when you're dealing with the life of your child," said Hummel.

As for Harmann, she says her son is living proof of why parents need to have a car seat properly installed.

"It saved his life, it is so important, my son is priceless to me, and I'm sure every other parent thinks the same thing about their kids it's so simple to do, I don't know why anybody wouldn't do this for their kid," said Harmann.

Hummel says another thing newer car seats have is a 5 point harness system, whereas older car seats only have 3, which doesn't provide as much protection for your child.

So what do you do with that old car seat?

Safe Kids Adams County will take it from you, and give you a little shopping money in return.

There's a car seat drop off Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon in the Kohl's shopping center parking lot. Crews will be on hand to dispose of your old car seat.

In return, you'll receive ten dollars in Kohl's cash for each seat thanks to the Kohl's Cares program.

 

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