We all know young children must be in car seats. But believe it or not, more than 80 percent of parents don't install those seats properly.
"You just get into the car and go. It's not something you think about," said parent Jeanine Gleason.
But after experts found her children's safety seats weren't properly installed, Gleason says she's more aware of the dangers.
Barbara Holmes was also pretty surprised to find out her son's safety seat wasn't secured. "I always thought I had it in secure."
"They were great parents," said Danny Tinnell of Beaufort County EMS, who inspected their car seat installation. "These aren't people who don't read instructions or look at things."
In fact, it's estimated at least eight out of ten car seats are installed improperly or are defective. "It's a sad thing when a child is injured and it doesn't have to be injured," said Tinnell. "It can be prevented."
There are some simple things you can do to help keep your kids safe:
*Make sure your child is in the right seat according to age, height and weight.
*Read the seat manual and your vehicle manual to properly install the seat.
*Make sure your child is tightly secured in that seat. You should only be able to fit one finger between the child and the strap.
*All harness chest clips need to be placed in line with the child's armpit.
*Remember, all children under a year and less than 20 pounds need to ride facing rear in the back seat.
Beaufort County EMS has car seat inspection stations the last Friday of every month, starting this Friday at EMS Headquarters 2727 Depot Road, Beaufort, so you can have an expert check your child's seat.
Call for appointment: 843.525.4027.
For information on child restraints and their proper usage, go to www.safekids.org.
Reported by: Jaime Dailey, firstname.lastname@example.org