PCB Firefighters Emphasize Car Seat Safety - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

PCB Firefighters Emphasize Car Seat Safety

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Panama City Beach, Fla. -

Saturday was the final day of National Child Passenger Safety Week, a time to stop and consider how well your children are being protected on the roadways. It wrapped up with seat check Saturday.

The guys at the Panama City Beach Fire Department are known for fighting fires. Saturday, they were fighting back against improper child safety.

"We want to show the parents how to properly install the car seat, to make sure that it's not too loose, that its snug, and that children are going to be safe and secure," Firefighter Joey Alexander said.

Alexander says proper safety means more than just strapping in the seat. He says keep these four things in mind when installing a car seat.

  • Make sure seat is tight and snug
  • Ensure that there's no more than two inches of side to side movement
  • Make sure strap is at correct shoulder height
  • Make sure your car is clear of junk and loose items, which can become projectiles during an accident. 

Alexander says he sees several mistakes when investigating seats.

"Some of the car seats people buy from a garage sale...they don't know if it's been in an accident or anything like that," Alexander said. "When they come in their seat belts are not tight enough on the back of them so they're loose...you can just about push them over."

Kathy Gillespie came to take advantage of the safety day.

"Heard they offered assistance with car seats, just finished the foster care program and just looking to get some assistance with that," Gillespie said.

Everyday, the fire department offers not only car seat assistance, but brand new car seats. All they ask for is a voluntary donation. Gillespie says she doesn't want to take any chances with her precious cargo.

"If we wear a safety belt, they should have to wear something that's going to protect them also," Gillespie said. 

Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says car crashes are the number one killer of children one to twelve years old in the US.