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Driver's Village hosts child seat safety checks

Other attendants to Saturday's event were an expecting couple who recently purchased two new car seats for their sedan and SUV.

Dawn and Derek White of North Syracuse said they wanted to be sure they had the seats in right before their daughter is born. The Whites are expecting their first child in June. The couple said they found out about the event last week and knew it was perfect timing to get things checked out.

Walton started the safety check by looking at the manuals for both cars to see if the seat was compatible to the car's model. The Whites watched and listened closely as Walton explained how the seat should work in the event of a crash.

Next, he took a few parts of the seat apart to show them how it worked and how to put it back together so it can be cleaned periodically. Walton found that the base of the seat needed to be re-fastened to the seatbelt so it was more secure. He said using your body weight against the base as you tighten the strap will help the seat become more stable to the car's upholstery.

Walton went on to explain the way the seat will function if the car is in an accident.

"The chair should have a light bounce to it," he said.

The deputy also showed the couples how tight the straps should be across the child's chest and how thickness of clothing can cause parents to think the straps are tight enough. Especially during cold weather, Walton said parents should keep the thickness of clothing to a minimum so the straps are firmly secured, and to use blankets to cover the child rather than thick jackets.

The event attracted many community members, but the county legislature's office hopes to have more events like this one, or make the event annual.

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