The Hocking County Health Department is the local distribution site for the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes Child Safety Seat Program. The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program is made possible through the purchase of child safety seats by the Ohio Department of Health. The Health Department is proud to say that we currently employ three Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians to facilitate the program. These technicians are available to assist with child safety seat questions and to check the installation of the seat for the safety of your child.
A parent or guardian is eligible to receive a child restraint system-convertible, combination, or booster seat if they are a WIC client or meet current WIC Income Guidelines. As of 1/1/2012 a $10 fee is requested for the cost of the seat. The parent or guardian must contact one of the car seat technicians at the health department (Emily ext. 236, Lisa ext. 227 or Tiffany ext. 231).
An educational session on proper use and installation of the child safety seat will be necessary. The educational training reviews proper installation and use of child restraints, as well as car seat laws in Ohio.
How can I get a car seat or booster seat?
Call 385-3030 ext 1 and ask to speak to a registered car seat technician.
Do you need help installing your car seat?
An approximate four out of five car seats are not used correctly. Don’t let your child’s be one of them! We can help you install your car seat correctly in your vehicle. Through car seat checks, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are able to help parents learn to use their car seat so that their child is properly protected. These specially trained technicians also provide parents with the most reliable up-to-date safety information available regarding car seats, including recall information and proper seat use. It is important that parents direct their questions about car seats to a Certified Car Seat Technician; salespeople or even police officers may not have current information about car seat safety.Stop in or call ahead for an appointment.
How can I find out if my car seat has been recalled?
To find out if your car seat has been recalled, please visit the Child Safety Seat Recalls Web Page on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Web Site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov
What are the five most common mistakes parents or caregivers make when installing a car seat?
- The car seat is installed too loosely in the vehicle. Your car seat should not move more than one inch side to side or forward. This is the number one mistake that parents and caregivers make.
The danger: In a collision, a child in a loose seat could crash into the back of the front seat and seriously inure their face or head.
Fast Fix: Place your knee in the seat, and put all your weight into it (use your arm for an infant seat), tightening the seat belt as much as possible. Then lock the seat belt, a step that many parents miss. If you have a pre-1996 car, it may not have adequate belt-locking capabilities. You need to use a locking clip. Most safety seats come with one. Don’t forget to engage your car’s seat belt lock. Shoulder-belt locks work differently than lap belt locks, so check you car manual for instructions.
- The car seat is turned forward facing too soon. Infants should ride rear facing until they are at least one year of age and 20-22 pounds.
The Danger: the bones that protect an infant’s spinal cord are still forming. When a child is rear facing, his/her back (the strongest part of their body) can better absorb the immense forces of a crash. Facing forward, an infant’s relatively heavy head can catapult forward. This may cause his/her underdeveloped spine to expose the spinal cord, putting him/her at risk of paralysis or death.
Fast Fix: Follow the rules. Keep you baby rear facing until at least one year of age and at least 20 pounds. Go the “extra mile” and keep your child rear facing until he/she reaches the upper weight limit of the safety seat and is at least one year of age.
- The harness is loose and the retainer clip is not correctly positioned on the child. The harness should be snug on the child’s shoulders and the retainer clip should always be positioned at armpit level.
Test your seat: If, after you’ve tightened your child into his/her car seat, you can still pinch the fabric of the harness straps between your fingers the harness is too loose.
The danger: A child who has a loose harness can easily come out of the safety seat in a crash; the child could then be severely injured if they hit part of the car’s interior or another passenger. The worse case scenario, the child could be ejected from the vehicle. When the retainer clip is in the wrong position, the straps can easily slip off the child’s shoulder and put the child at risk of being ejected from the seat during an accident.
Fast Fix: Tighten the harness. Keep in mind that the straps should be snug and have no slack. Parents often move the retainer clip as they maneuver their child out of the seat. Check the clip’s position every time you buckle up.
- The harness straps are not properly threaded or adjusted. Harness straps should be at or below the child’s shoulder when using a car seat rear facing. When using a car seat in the forward facing position, harness straps should be at or just above the shoulders, usually the top slots, unless manufacturer’s instructions say differently!
The danger: when the child faces forward, a harness in the lower slots can break through the seat during a collision.
Fast Fix: always check the instructions that came with your seat to find out which slots are for which direction. If in doubt, call the manufacturer of the child safety seat. (The 1-800 # should be on the side of your child’s seat).
- The child is not in a booster seat long enough or not in one at all. Booster seats are for kids who weigh between 40 to 80 pounds and up to 4’ 9” tall, usually four to eight years old. A booster seat boosts the child up so the seat belt fits the child correctly…low over the hips and upper thighs and snug over the shoulder. **No child under 13 years old should ever sit in the front seat!
** Take the 5-step test:
- Child sits upright with their buttocks against the back of the vehicle seat.
- Knees bend naturally at the edge of the seat.
- Shoulder belt fits across the mid point between their neck and shoulder.
- Lap belt fits across the upper thighs and lower hips.
- Child is mature enough to ride in this position the entire car ride.
The danger: an adult seat belt used by itself does not properly restrain a child because it crosses the body at the wrong position (high on the belly, high across the shoulder, and sometimes even across the neck). Children often move the shoulder belt behind them because it’s uncomfortable. In a crash, a child who is too small for an adult seat belt can sustain massive internal-organ damage, head and spinal injuries, or even be ejected.
Fast Fix: go out and buy your child a booster seat today or call to see if you qualify for a booster seat through the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes Program.
To make an appointment for a car seat check or for more information about the car seat safety program in Hocking County contact 385-3030 extension 227.