RICHMOND—If you’ve ever struggled to install a child safety seat, you know it can be a physical challenge. National surveys have shown that as many as 80 percent of all child safety seats are improperly installed, according to Jimmy Maass, Virginia Farm Bureau safety manager.
“It’s important that the seat be installed correctly so that it will protect your child should you be involved in a crash,” Maass said. “According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14.”
Beginning March 1, the Farm Bureau home office at 12580 West Creek Parkway in Goochland County will be an official Child Safety Seat Check Station. The Virginia Department of Health and NHTSA websites list sites where parents and care providers can ensure, at no cost, that their child safety seats are installed properly.
Child seat owners can call the Farm Bureau safety staff at 804-290-1376 to schedule an appointment for their seats to be checked by a nationally-certified technician.
“Parents should bring the child that will use the seat if at all possible, and expect to spend between 20 and 30 minutes for each seat that’s inspected and installed,” Maass said. “We first check the seat to see if the parent installed it correctly and explain anything we might find. We then remove the seat, check for recalls or problems, then make sure the child fits properly in the seat. Finally we show the parent how to install the seat correctly and allow them to install it with our advice and assistance.”
In addition to checking seats at the Goochland office, “we’re also going to offer this service to county Farm Bureaus across the state if they’d like to have a free car seat check day in their area,” Maass said.
at 804-290-1379 or Norm Hyde
, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1146.