Child Seat Safety

Monday, March 19th 2007, 2:00 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country family is on the road again after an accident during the ice storm totaled their car. Since the kids weren't hurt, their mother thought they were safe, but the News On 6’s Carina Sonn reports looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to your child's car seat.

During January’s ice storm Linda Bartlett and her four young children were T-boned by another driver. The impact sent her van into a spin and had her teetering on two wheels.

"She was late for work and was going too fast and hit a patch of ice and slammed into our van," said Bartlett.

"I was just looking around and something just hit us and I got surprised," 7-year-old Daniel Bartlett said.

Linda and her oldest child had minor neck pain, but the little ones in the back were safe. Their car seats were properly installed at an EMSA work shop last August. Linda called EMSA to thank them for saving her family's life, but she was surprised to learn that they might still be in danger.

"We didn't know that if you'd been in a wreck that they had to be replaced because the seats looked perfect," Bartlett said.

EMSA emergency workers say in most cases major accidents can stress and weaken, even fracture car seats. In minor collisions car seats are okay only if the vehicle was driven away from the crash, the damage to the vehicle wasn't on the side of the car seat, the airbags didn't deploy, there were no injuries and there was no visible damage to the car seat itself. Even if you've been in a minor accident, EMSA personnel say it's a good idea to have the car seats checked out.

EMSA officials say the biggest mistake they see is parents who don't strap seats in tight enough. If you’re worried that your child’s car seat is not properly installed you can have it checked at EMSA headquarters, located at 1417 North Lansing, call 596-3105 to make an appointment.