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MoDot Crash Stats Show Kids Killed/Injured Not Secured:Tips from - KOAM TV 7

MoDot Crash Stats Show Kids Killed/Injured Not Secured:Tips from Car Seat Safety Check

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

     Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. And car seats are their only defense.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the seats reduce the risk of death by 71-percent for infants and  54-percent for toddlers and those in booster seats.
   The Alliance of Southwest Missouri held  a car seat safety check today not long after the Missouri Department of Transportation  released its latest statistics.

Like that where you can't pinch excess of that. A car seat safety technician explains when strapping in a child, the straps should be taught enough that you can squeeze the fabric to make it gather. 
Lisa Sammons, a mother of two was getting the  tips on tightening straps to secure her kids in their car seats.
Sammons said, "I just wanted to make sure my kids car seats were as safe as possible. Cause it
s really hard to install them in your cars." 

She learned her one year old son should actually still be in a rear facing seat. So did mom, Nikki Tie, which was a change from the rules for  her first child who went from rear facing to front facing at one year old.

Now they're saying wait until they're about two. So now my one year old, Im keeping her rear facing all the way as long as I can."

Missouri Highway patrol public information officer, Sgt. John Leuckenhoff explained the change. "Rear facing is the safest  position. In the center of the car, rear facing is the safest.  And the reason that is, is the highest percentage of traffic crashes are  frontal crashes so the back of that car  seat is absorbing that energy that
s keeping the head and neck where its supposed to be."

According to MoDot in 2016, eighteen kids under the age of eight were killed in car crashes. Twenty-nine percent of those not restrained properly in a car seat.  

Sgt. Lueckenhoff added,  "A single fatality is way too many. All too often we do make  traffic stops we see kids in loose car seats that straps aren
t adjusted properly or on occasion when theyre not in car seats at all."

Mark Box, the Safe Kids coordinator at the Alliance said,  "We found out a lot of the car  seats upper tethers aren
t used. A lot of them dont have the seat belts tight enough. All these are common problems. Id say nine out of ten seats aren't  put in correctly when we get em." 
Box checked a car seat base. He said you don't want it to move.

More than one inch in any direction.
He checked a seat belt stretching it for ratcheting.
Box said,
Your seat belts not locked, it can flip over.
 So he had the mom try it. "Hear that, (click, click)  that's the ratcheting system."

He fastened an upper tether. A hook for latching now required in vehicles since 2002.  The Alliance also  checks children
s height and weight to make sure  seats are the right size. Theyll replace those ill fitting for a twenty dollar donation but wont turn parents away who cant afford it. Many of its seats are donated by MoDot  or paid for in part with MoDot grants.  MoDot spent five thousand two hundred dollars on car seats alone in twenty counties in Southwest Missouri this year.

And  the technicians advise mom's that big coats aren't good for how straps should fit.
Sgt Lueckenhoff explained, "If it
s a rear facing  seat the shoulder straps should be just below the shoulder, if its forward facing it should be just above the shoulders."

They
re safety measures  moms were glad to learn.

Nikki Tie said, "They're my kids. Their safety comes first. Im supposed to protect them."  
     The Alliance conducts car seat safety checks monthly between March and November.
Click here for a link to its website.

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