BPS trained on car seat safety to help educate community

Published 2:52 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

Wednesday afternoon, four Bainbridge Public Safety employees finished their three-day car seat training and implementation class, and put their skills to the test placing all the different types of seats in a variety of vehicles.

Public Information Officer, Julie Harris said they decided to partake in the class and offer it to anyone in the area. She, along with David Cutchin, Courtney Chavers and Maria Bonilla participated with Thomasville PD, Donalsonville, and Walton County in order to become car seat technicians to help families in the community.

Since completing the course, BPS can now offer car seat checks at the Public Safety Office or Walmart and help parents make sure their child is in the correct seat for their height and weight. In addition to hosting checks, BPS can also host public classes that anyone can attend. After attending the one-day class, individuals are eligible to apply for a free car seat that fits their needs.

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Car seats and booster seats are essential to the safety of children. During the training, Harris said instructors told them more car seats are placed incorrectly than correctly.

Although Harris is a mother, she learned things she did as a first time parent that she was unaware were incorrect. She learned not to place towels underneath the seat, because it can cause the seat to slip, and not to place towels or blankets around the child’s face to keep their head from bumping around.

“It was just a lot of little things I thought I was doing to make them more comfortable were incorrect,” she said.

Harris said a lot of people improvise when they don’t understand why the car seat isn’t working. They don’t want to take the time to read the book, so they jam something up underneath the seat to make it buckle and really do whatever it takes to just get it to work right.

Harris said one of the most surprising things she learned was how long children should be rear facing in the car. She originally thought once they were out of the baby phase, they could move to front facing, but has learned that is incorrect. It has everything to do with the child’s height and weight. It is also safer in the event of an accident, because the child won’t move.

With this newfound information, Harris encourages all new parents and grandparents to come get their car seats checked and make sure everything is up to par for their little one’s safety.