AUBURN – The Child Health Center will have staff at the booster fitting station from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, at the Auburn Police Department. A certified child passenger safety technician will help ensure the safe fit of a child in a safety seat.

The fitting station is a collaborative project of the Child Health Center/Androscoggin County SAFE KIDS Chapter (a United Way agency), the Maine Coalition for SAFE KIDS, the Auburn Police Department and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. Additional support is provided by Central Maine Medical Center, Advocates for Children and Finders Seekers/Community Concepts.

Patricia Valeriani, coordinator of the Child Health Center’s ProtectME program and the Androscoggin Chapter of the Maine Coalition for SAFE KIDS, said, “Seeing older children who have been moved into adult seat belts before they are ready is a common occurrence in our area. It is important that the vehicle seat belt fit properly.

“The lap belt portion of the seat belt 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, commonly known as seatbelt syndrome’.”

The Child Health Center has a limited number of free child passenger safety seats or booster seats available for qualifying families who visit the station. For more information regarding booster seats or other child passenger restraints, call the center at 743-7035.

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