Every day in America, too many children are riding in the wrong car seats, are improperly restrained, or completely unrestrained. To help combat the issue in Charlotte County, the Florida Department of Health (DOH-Charlotte) offers free car seat classes and installations/checks for parents and caregivers.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States,” said Joseph Pepe, Interim Health Officer for DOH-Charlotte. “Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate, and properly installed, is the best way to keep your child safe.”

According to Safe Kids, when a child safety seat is installed and used correctly, the risk of death can be reduced by as much as 71 percent in infants, 54 percent in toddlers, and 45 percent in children ages 4 to 8. Playing It Safe - Kids in Cars advises parents and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and how to install them properly in their vehicles. At the end of each class, child passenger safety technicians (CPSTs) will check car seats for proper installation.

“On average, three out of every four car seats are not used or installed correctly,” said Pepe. “The Department of Health is working to change that in Charlotte County.”

If you have questions or need help installing your car seat, DOH-Charlotte has certified child passenger safety technicians that are available to assist. Please call 941-624-7200 extension 7273 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Please visit https://www.safekids.org/car-seat for more car seat safety information.

Please visit http://charlotte.floridahealth.gov/events for the 2019 Playing It Safe - Kids in Cars class schedule.

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