AUBURN – Child Health Center’s ProtectME program, in conjunction with the Androscoggin County United Way, Maine Coalition for Safe Kids and the Bureau of Highway Safety, will offer a child safety seat fitting station from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, at the Auburn Police Station.

It is an opportunity for parents and those who routinely transport children to have their safety seats inspected for proper installation and appropriateness for their vehicle and their child.

Certified technician Patricia Valeriani of the Child Health Center said, “One of the most common mistakes seen at our checkup events is older children who have been moved into adult seat belts before they are ready. It is important that the vehicle seat belt fit properly.

“The lap belt portion of the seatbelt should be as low as possible, touching the thighs, the shoulder portion of the belt should cross the shoulder between the neck and arm, and the child should be able to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat with their knees comfortably bent at the edge of the seat. If the lap portion of the belt is too high on the abdomen the force of the crash will be transferred to the internal organs and the child is at risk of sustaining internal injuries.”

The type of booster seat a child uses depends on the weight and height of the child as well as the design of your vehicle.

“It is important to know that booster seats, which do not have a harness system, should never be used with lap-only belts. If you have shoulder and lap belts in your vehicle, backless boosters can be used as long as the child’s head is protected by the back of the vehicle’s seat,” said Valeriani.

Suzanne Cook, Maine Coalition for Safe Kids, said, “When correctly installed and fitted, a child safety seat reduces the need for hospitalization in children ages birth to 4 years by 69 percent and it decreases the risk of death by 71 percent in infants and 54 percent in ages 1 to 4. However when mistakes are made in the installation of the seat or the children are improperly restrained, they are not as protected, as they would be if the seat was used correctly.”

For more information about child passenger safety, call the Child Health Center’s ProtectME Program at 782-5437 in Auburn or 743-7035 in Norway.

For more information about child passenger safety, call the Child Health Center’s ProtectME Program at 782-5437 in Auburn or 743-7035 in Norway.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.