Post pushes child safety seat inspections

Posted by:

In Georgia, the leading cause of death and injury to children ages 1 to 12 is automobile accidents. In an effort to ensure the safety of military children riding in privately owned vehicles on and off post the Fort Gordon Direc- torate of Emergency Services and Safe Kids-East Central of Augusta partnered to host a Child Passenger Safety Seat check-up event Oct. 21 in the PX parking lot.

The one-day event was part of a free four-day training course offered to Fort Gordon military police and firefighters to become certified child safety seat inspectors. The last phase of the training, a practical exercise, involved inspecting child safety seats and booster seats, with instructors observing.

“What initiated this course was the change in the booster seat law for children in Georgia,” said Senior Trooper Andy Siquefield of the Georgia State Patrol and one of five instructors in the course offered at Fort Gordon Oct. 18-20 at the Law Enforcement Center on Rice Road. “This law took effect July 1 and requires children to be properly restrained in a child passenger safety restraint device or booster seat until he or she is 8 years old.”

The new law requires a child car safety seat or booster seat be installed in the rear seat of a privately owned vehicle. It must be appropriate for the child’s weight and height, meet all U.S. federal standards and be properly installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The effectiveness of child safety seats has been proved. Car seats, when properly installed and used, are 71 percent effective in preventing injury to infants and 54 percent effective in preventing injury to children ages 1 to 4, according to Governor Nathan Deal’s Office for Consumer Affairs. Seat belts are made for adult bodies and do not fit children correctly. Booster seats raise children up so the adult seat belt fits them.

One of the parents to stop by the Fort Gordon Child Safety Seat event was Sharon Ray with her young son, Anthony. “I noticed a lot of movement in the child safety seat I had in my car,” said Ray. “I came out to make sure my son is as safe as he can be.”

Ray installed a new child safety seat herself, which was donated, with guidance from Spc. Franchot Palma and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Addison. Both MPs assigned to the 35th Military Police Detachment who attended the fourday certification course.

“ We issued new child safety seats to those who had expired seats or seats that were on the recall list,” said Cpl. Oscar Fernandez of the Georgia State Patrol. He was also one of the instructors in the course.

“For those who couldn’t attend the child safety seat inspection event we plan to offer this event again on a quarterly basis,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Chandler, Directorate of Emergency Services director. “Parents can also stop by the Law Enforcement Center or the Fire Department, located on Rice Road, without an appointment, to have their child safety seat inspected by a certified inspector. Both facilities are open 24/7.”

There are penalties for those who fail to comply with the new law. A fine of no more than $50 and one point will be assessed against a violator’s driver’s license during the first conviction. On the second and subsequent convictions a fine of less than $100 will be issued and two points will be assessed against the violator’s driver’s license.

Leave a Reply

Your Name: (required)

Your Email: (will not be published) (required)

Your Website:

Your Message:

submit comment