Cornell Police hosting annual child safety seat check this Saturday

April 25, 2014

The Cornell University Police Department is hosting a free child safety seat check this Saturday morning, April 26th, for area parents. The event will be from 9am-noon at the Cornell Grounds Shop at 307 Palm Road, off Route 366 east of campus.

Cornell's free child seat safety check is open to the entire community.Cornell's free child seat safety check is open to the entire community."Each check event, we have the opportunity to educate our community about the importance of using and the importance of proper installation and fit of child safety seats," says CUPD deputy chief David Honan. State law requires all children in a motor vehicle to be restrained using a federally approved child restraint system, such as rear-facing or front-facing infant car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

Cornell Police will have trained child passenger safety technicians on hand this Saturday to inspect equipment and show parents how to properly install and maintain it. "A majority of parents still misuse their child restraints and it's gratifying to know that we can contribute not only to the Cornell community but to the greater Ithaca community by helping them get it right," Honan says. The event is funded thanks to a grant from the New York State Governor's Highway Traffic Safety Committee, according to CUPD.

Consumer Reports published an article last fall warning parents that "a bulky coat and a car seat is a dangerous combination." The article offers parents a test to make sure a child's coat isn't making the child safety seat unsafe. "One of the most common misuse conditions seen in child seats is that the harness is too loose, and wearing a big winter coat under the harness is just one of the ways that it can happen," they say.

Parents should avoid buying a used car seat to save money, as the seat may be damaged or too old to be safe and effective. Families who qualify under New York State WIC eligibility guidelines or any NYS public assistance program may be eligible to receive a free child safety seat. Contact CUPD's crime prevention unit at 607-255-7305 or crime_prevention@cornell.edu for details.

Area parents who can't make it to Cornell's event this weekend are always welcome to contact Ithaca Fire Department for an appointment with their certified car seat installation team, says IFD Lt. Tom Basher. Tompkins County Sheriff's Department investigators credit an IFD car seat check for the safe, injury-free outcome when a car was rear-ended on Perry City Road in early March. Basher says parents can call 607-272-1234 to set up a time to meet with a car seat technician.

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