Child Car Seat Installation - Is Yours Correct?
Are You Worried Your Child's Car Seat May Be Installed or Used Incorrectly?
If so, the Mishawaka Fire Department can help. Certified child passenger safety technicians inspect the vehicle and provide education to parents and caregivers. The inspection and education program are free, but the child safety seats are NOT given away for free.
In the United States during 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 179,000 were injured. Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child's risk of injury during a crash. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers. According to research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury by 59% compared to seat belts alone. This is why the Mishawaka Fire Department has taken on this program. After seeing and dealing with the effects of accidents, with children involved, we feel this is a program that is well worth investing in. Our main goal, in the fire department, is "Prevention." How better to do this than to invest in the safety of the children in our community.
In November, 2011 the Mishawaka Fire Department received a certification to become a permanent car seat fitting facility by the Automotive Safety Program through Riley Children's Hospital. Currently there are 11 certified car seat technicians on staff at the Mishawaka Fire Department.
The program was started with a one time grant through the Automotive Safety Program. The grant enabled the Mishawaka Fire Department to start this program by purchasing car seats, items to assist with the installs and educational materials to hand out to the participants of the program.
The grant was a one-time contribution to get the program up and running. We have to keep the program running by asking for donations. After a car seat is installed or checked, the technician will ask for a donation. The donations are used to replace the seats that are used and to replace any items used to assist in the proper installation of the car seats. The donations collected are not put into the City of Mishawaka's general budget. They are put into a separate account and strictly used for the car seat program.
Anyone needing a car seat checked or installed may call the administrative office at (574) 247-0928 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm to schedule an appointment or complete the form below and we will call you to schedule an appointment.