Thursday, September 15, 2011


News Release from: Sandy Fire District
Posted: September 15th, 2011 10:46 AM

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for American children. A child's risk of injury greatly increases in a crash if they are not appropriately restrained. In an attempt to address these facts, Sandy Fire District's Car Seat Safety Technician, Nannette Wilson will be BUSY.

The celebration of Car Seat Safety Week will begin with FREE car seat safety checks at Sandy Fire Main Station (17460 Bruns Ave, Sandy, OR 97055) Monday - Friday, September 19th - September 23rd from 8:30 to 4:30 No appointments are necessary!!

Nannette is also available By Appointment - to do car seat safety checks and installations on Saturday, September 24th from noon until 6:00 pm

Why such a high error rate on installations?
There are so many Makes and Models of cars on the road today, add to that the number of brands and styles of Car Seats, it is no wonder why so many are installed incorrectly. "Safety Seat Technicians go through an intensive 40 hour training course and are then required to maintain their skill level and update their knowledge about new trends and devices on a regular basis. It is no small feat to become a Safety Seat Technician - we are fortunate to have Nannette Wilson in our Fire District" said Alice Busch, Sandy Fire District.

Oregon has over 400 certified child passenger safety technicians who conduct more than 2,500 child seat inspections annually; they consistently find that 82% are used incorrectly.

"Sometimes parents feel bad when they realize their car seat was not properly installed. I tell them I have two kids and I really doubt I would have correctly installed their seats if I had not taken the training to become a Technician". Nannette Wilson, Sandy Fire District Car Seat Technician. "I'd say that most parents that come to get their car seat checked, think they have installed it correctly and are just bringing it to a technician to make sure. They are trying to do the right things to protect their children, and this is one of the most important ones because if the car seat isn't installed correctly, it may not protect their most precious cargo. It only costs a bit of time, I think everyone should invest that much to ensure their safety seat will do its job".

Using the right type of child restraint for a child's size can reduce the chance of crash injury an estimated 71% for infants, 54% for toddlers, and 59% for children in boosters.

"Car seats can cost well over $100 and are specially designed to protect the physiology of young children. With a price tag like that, and the potentially deadly result of improper installation, I would think a FREE clinic to ensure the car seat is able to do its job would be something all parents, grandparents and any child care provider would be excited to take advantage of" Alice Busch, Sandy Fire District.

If you know of anyone with a small child, please encourage them to come to visit the Sandy Fire Main Station or to contact Nannette Wilson at 503-668-8093 or via email at

A few recent facts that underscore the importance of properly installed Child Safety Seats.

* Improperly restrained children are 3.5 times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than their properly restrained counterparts.

* For children injured in crashes, head, neck and spinal injuries are most common, often resulting in lifelong disabilities.

* During 2007 in Oregon, 838 child passengers under age eight were injured in motor vehicle crashes and 2 children were killed

* Over 42 percent of the children involved in these crashes were NOT using child restraints. This means the driver either placed the child prematurely into adult lap and shoulder belt (231 children) or left the child totally unrestrained (16 children) - in violation of Oregon law

* Once a child has outgrown their car seat, a booster seat should be used until safety belts fit correctly, usually when the child reaches 4'9" in height or 8 years of age.

Best Practice Suggestions
Refer to the child safety seat manufacture's manual and the car seat information in your vehicle owner's manual to get information specific to your situation.
Rear Facing:

* Never place a rear facing child in front of an active frontal air bag.

* Keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as
possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat.

* Ensure the seat is secure in the vehicle & moves less than 1 inch side to side.

* Harness Straps are snug and retainer clip is level with the child's armpits.
Forward Facing:

* Ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the

* upper weight/height limit of the particular seat (usually age 4 and 40 pounds).

* Use the top tether when possible.

* Ensure the seat is secure in the vehicle & moves less than 1 inch side to side.

* Harness Straps are snug and retainer clip is level with the child's armpits.

Booster seats protect children over 40 pounds.
* Ride in booster seats using the lap and shoulder safety belt, in the back seat.

* Position shoulder belt across the chest

* Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs

* and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually age 8 or when 4'9" tall).
Safety Belt:

* When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are

* 4'9" tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly.

* For information on Oregon Law visit

Children 12 years old and younger should ride in the back seat.

How Can You Help?
* Encourage caregivers to attend a car seat checkup event to make sure their children are riding safely. Call ACTS Oregon Child Safety Seat Resource Center 503-643-5620, 1-877-793-2608 or visit

* Consider becoming a child safety seat program volunteer or a trained child passenger safety technician. In addition to "certified" child passenger safety technicians, volunteers are always needed to assist with hosting or helping at community check-up events. Call Nannette for more information or visit

* Distribute FREE educational materials to friends, coworkers, family members and organizations who serve families within your community. Order FREE color posters, and brochures at

* Add a link on your website to ACTS Oregon Child Safety Seat Resource Center

* Download educational videos to share with others: Keeping Kids Safe During Crashes at and Boost ‘em in the Back Seat at Another fantastic video that encourages seat belt use can be found at

There is a tremendous need for greater public education and awareness of these issues throughout Oregon. Please support our efforts to protect Oregon's smallest travelers.