Car seat techs with the California Highway Patrol help Kellie Abruzzo install a car seat for her daughter Brooklyn at the Car seat safety seminar held by Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the California Highway Patrol in the Valencia United Methodist Church parking lot Monday morning. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Officers, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital partner for car seat safety event

California Highway Patrol officers joined Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital representatives and local parents Monday for a car seat installation and inspection event.

Buckling up is the most effective thing one can do to protect themselves and their passengers in a crash, the CHP website states, adding, “Thousands of children are injured or killed every year because their child passenger safety seats are not installed properly.”

Statistics like this are one of many reasons why local officers come together on a weekly basis to assist parents and guardians with the positioning of their child’s safety seat, said CHP Officer Eric Preissman.

Most often a car seat will be too loose and, as a result, is insecure, according to officers who attended the demonstration at Valencia United Methodist Church.

“People will often put a car seat in, thumb through the manual, go click, click, click, give the belt a tug and call it good,” Preissman said, “but there’s a lot more to properly putting a child in a car seat, and that’s where we come in.”

Most people will throw a manual in a junk drawer, but most CHP officers make it a point to tell every parent to read their car seat manual, Preissman said. “It’s going to cover and talk about things that I don’t know about or won’t discuss.”

Kellie Abruzzo straps her daughter Brooklyn, 20 months, into her car seat at the car seat safety seminar held by Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the California Highway Patrol in the Valencia United Methodist Church parking lot Monday morning. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Those who are still having trouble securing a car seat even after reading the manual can schedule an appointment by contacting the Newhall CHP office at 661-294-5540.

During the appointments, certified child passenger safety technicians will check car seat expirations and ensure a child is properly fitted in the seat, the CHP website states. Appointments are available every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and parents with twins or two car seats should make two appointments and expect a half-hour appointment per seat.

For more information on car seat safety, visit nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats or chp.ca.gov/Programs-Services/Programs/Child-Safety-Seats

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