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Properly installing car seats can prevent child deaths across the U.S.

Properly installing car seats can prevent child deaths across the U.S.

YAKIMA, Wash. - According to the National Child Passenger Safety Board, car crashes are the leading cause of death in children one to 13 years old, and many of these deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats.

“Injuries can occur when not having our car seats installed correctly or not using our seat belt system correctly,” said Officer Nichole Sandino of the Yakima Police Department.

She said it's important to be precise when placing your child's car seat in your vehicle.

“A lot of people say that the majority of car seats are installed incorrectly, and that’s true - about 80 percent, and it’s important to get them installed correctly, and to make sure that our children who are in an actual car seat, are buckled appropriately as well,” said Sandino.

Local nurse, Cathy Hudson, said that she made sure she did her research before installing her grandson's car seat in her truck. And she was shocked at the rate at which car seats are improperly installed.

“That's not good, because they're our most precious gift - these little kids, and we need to protect them at all costs and so people need to just research the car seats more than they probably are, and understand the importance of having their car seat properly installed in their vehicle,” said Hudson.

Mom of two, Gabby Avila, says that she read the car seat instruction manuals of her children's car seats and even watched some YouTube videos, but still she is unsure of the installation.

“It's scary. It kind of freaks me out and I don't know if I'm still doing it wrong. But, it's scary to think that maybe I'm not doing it correct. And it's scary to know that a lot of people don't put their car seat in correct,” Avila said.

Sandino urged parents who are uncertain to reach out to the police department with any concerns.

Sandino said, “If you have any questions at all, there's always resources at the Yakima Police Department. We have several technicians.”

If you’d like to have your car seat inspected or would like more information, you can head over to the Yakima Police website. You can also visit the Yakima Police at the Central Washington State Fair, where they’ll have a booth promoting car seat safety.

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