“We invite the family to come and make sure their seats are safe,” said Laura Moore of the health department, who has been certified to install car seats for five years.
She also mentioned that popcorn and some items for children such as coloring books or safety booklets will be given out at the event. As part of the weeklong safety campaign, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration have asked every fitting station to do an event.
According to Moore, the leading cause of child injury in accidents is children not being secured in their seats properly. Moore said with so many types of car seats, properly installing one can be really complicated.
There will also be an interpreter available during the event.
The Bradley County Health Department provides car seats to those who qualify.
“If you qualify to be on WIC (the Women, Infants and Children government program) then you can get a free car seat,” Moore said.
The Health Department receives quarterly funding for car seats through the Child Safety Fund from the Tennessee Health Department
To apply, fill out an application at the Bradley County Health Department. Moore said the process usually takes a minimum of two to four weeks from the time a person fills out an application to when they receive a car seat. The health department offers a variety of new car seats. Moore said many people have car seats that are outdated.
“If anybody is really in need we try to help (them get a seat),” Moore said.
According to Moore, in Tennessee drivers can get a ticket for not having a child properly secured in a car seat.
Tennessee laws require children age 1 and younger who are less than 20 pounds to be in a rear-facing car seat, children more than 20 pounds between the ages of 1 and 3 must be in a forward-facing car seat. Children can move to a booster seat when they are 4.
All children less than 4 feet 9 inches are required to be in a booster seat until they are 9 years old.
Moore said many children want to be out of a booster seat before they are legally ready. A few times Moore said parents have brought kids to her to explain the importance of staying in a booster seat.
The Bradley County Health Department offers child safety seats (car seats and booster seats) checks on the first and third Thursday of every month. The department will also do safety checks any day by appointment.