Keeping children safe was the focus last week during a Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program.
“We hosted a four-day training program to certify child passenger seat technicians,” said Angela Brown, program manager of Tennessee Child Passenger Safety Center which is through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. “By the time they are done, the techs are a valuable resource for the community. They can assist in child safety seat checks and educate parents and caregivers with the proper use of child restraint systems and seatbelts.”
McMinnville Fire Department hosted the training session beginning Tuesday.
That department, as well as McMinnville Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Department, have certified child passenger seat technicians who are up to date on the latest technical information about child passenger safety thanks to a state and local partnership.
Brown says Tennessee’s children are in danger because child seats are not being used properly.
“There is an 84 percent misuse rate in Tennessee,” said Brown. “That means 84 percent of the car seats are not properly installed. That’s higher than the national average of 73 percent. We’re trying to bring that number down in Tennessee. If your child’s car seat isn’t installed properly, it might not do what it needs to do.”
A child car seat checkpoint was held Friday at Foodland Plus.
“Our techs are looking at anything and everything,” said Brown. “Is the car seat appropriate for your child’s age and size? Is it properly installed? Have there been any recalls on the car seat? Was it installed properly?”
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office also provides free car seats as part of the program.
The four-day training session was paid for through a THSO grant.