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Kiwanians stress safety with car seat check

May 4, 2008
By LARRY SHIELDS , Salem News staff writer
Wet weather kept participation down at the annual Kiwanis International car seat safety check at the Salem Community Center on Saturday.

The event, the sixth in Salem, was held in conjunction with the Columbiana County Safe Kids Coalition.

It was the first one this year, according to Jacki DaLonzo who is the coalition coordinator and the injury prevention director for the Columbiana County Health Department.

DaLonzo expected to hold “a couple more this other parts of the county.”

Four car seat technicians performed the inspections on about a dozen seats, DaLonzo said, explaining that infant and booster seats undergo a 31-point check that includes identifying seats that have been in accidents or recalled.

“We’ll check everything,” DaLonzo said, adding children do not have to be in the seat to check it.

Infant seats for children up to a year old and special child restraint seats for children from four-years-old and forty pounds are required by Ohio law, DaLonzo said, adding that booster seats, while recommended for children eight years-old and 80 pounds, are not required by law.

She said a pending booster-seat law was just passed by the Ohio house of representatives and will now go to the senate.

“Ohio is trying to get the booster seat passed,” she said.

She said 90 percent or more of the seats have “something wrong” and “we don’t let them leave until it’s fixed.”

DaLonzo added, “If it’s not installed properly we will install it properly.”

She usually attends the events with about a dozen replacement seats for recalls or seats that can’t be adjusted or fixed.“I have grant money,” she said, adding, “we’ve given away two seats so far today.”

It takes about a half hour per seat to go through the detailed checklist which looks for proximity to airbags, correct harness and anchors and if the seat history is known.

In the past, the car seat check, which does not require an appointment, has drawn up 50 vehicles in Salem.

Article Photos

Aimee Schweers, left, and Dee Beith, both certified car seat technicians, inspect a seat during the annual Kiwanis International car seat safety check at the Salem Community Center on Saturday. Schweers of Poland and Beith of Boardman were two of four technicians who inspected infant and boosters seats. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)



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