Driver's Village hosts child seat safety checks

Roger Burdick teamed up with the Onondaga County Legislature's Office and the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department Saturday May 16 to host a child car seat safety check. Community members were given the opportunity to bring their vehicles to Driver's Village in Cicero to get a first-hand evaluation on whether or not their seat was properly installed.

The sheriff's department has found that somewhere around four out of five seats are improperly installed.

On hand to administer the checks for community members was Onondaga County Sheriff's Department Deputy Mike Walton. Most community members brought their vehicles with seats already installed, while others had questions about the compatibility for the seat and the car's model.

"I'm up front with everyone," Walton said. "The precautions are all in the event of a crash, so the child is protected."

Walton explained that although responsible parents purchase car seats for their young children, there are many seats that are not properly installed, or the seat is not right for the vehicle. In other cases, some children need smaller seats or outgrow older models, and other times children with disabilities require a customized seat to properly secure the child in the event of an accident.

{Q}"The law says you have to have the child in a seat, but it doesn't say anything about using it right," Walton said.{Q}

The common scenario the department witnesses is that parents have the seat but there are some minor, and at times major, tweaking that needs to be done in order for the seat to function properly.

During the checks, Walton spoke with community member Prahbit Bali, 35, who wanted to make sure his toddler's seat was moved to a good location in the car since he and his wife were bringing home their newborn twins on Sunday.

"We moved a few things around and found a good fit," Walton said.

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