The Berryville Police Department will be sponsoring a child safety seat check on September 22, 2012 in the Food Lion parking lot located on Mosby Boulevard in Berryville. September 22, 2012 is National Seat Check Saturday, and the Berryville Police Department will be joining public safety agencies across the nation in checking child safety seats for proper installation. The police department will have certified child safety seat installation technicians at the event from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm checking for proper installation and offering advice on how to keep children safely secured while riding in motor vehicles.
“Three out of every five child safety seats are installed improperly,” said Berryville Police Chief Neal White. “At the inspection we make sure that the seats are installed properly and also check the seat against a National Transportation Safety Administration master list for recalled items.”
White said that many people are unaware that child seats also have an expiration date after which they are no longer safe to use.
“Sometimes people pick up safety seats at yard sales and don’t realize that product is beyond its useful life” White added.
The Berryville police department employs three staff members who are certified safety seat installers and have attended NTSA’s 32-hour Safe Kids Worldwide safety course covering installation and other aspects of child transportation safety.
White explained that the safety seat requirement is not necessarily based on age alone, but also takes into account the child’s height and weight. However, children two years and younger must be in a seat that faces the rear of the vehicle.
“Children under eight years old must be in a safety seat,” White said. “Children older than eight years can use a booster seat provided that they are at least 54 inches tall.”
“When people stop by the safety check we can also give them advice on how the child seat or booster seat fits,” White said. “It’s really important that the shoulder strap be positioned properly in the event of an accident.”
“The biggest problem that we see is seats that are installed incorrectly. The problem is usually easy to correct once one of our staff gets a chance to look at the seat.”
The event is free to the public and anyone who transports children is encouraged to attend. Anyone with questions may call the Berryville Police Department at (540) 955-3863 for more details.