East Windsor will hold child safety seat checks July 17

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The second in a series of five sessions to help East Windsor Township parents ensure their child’s car seat has been safely installed is planned for July 17 at the East Windsor police/court building on One Mile Road between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The free program, in which a nationally certified child passenger safety seat technician will check on the proper installation of a child safety seat, is being funded by a $6,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

Three more sessions will be held, two each in August and one in September. The program is being sponsored by East Windsor Township, and is free for East Windsor Township residents, said Mayor Janice S. Mironov.

The third session is set for Aug. 6 at the East Windsor PAL complex at 30 Airport Road. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in conjunction with the township’s annual National Night Out event.

Additional sessions are set for Aug. 22 and Sept. 13, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the East Windsor police/court building.

The goal of the program is teach parents how to properly secure their child in the child safety seat, which is required by law. The technician will make sure that the child safety seat has been properly installed.

Under state law, children who are under 4 years old and weigh less than 40 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Once a child turns 4 years old, the youngster may ride in a front-facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness.

Children may transition to a booster seat when they outgrow the car seat. They must use a booster seat until they reach 8 years old and 57 inches in height. At that point, the child may sit on the front seat and use a seat belt.

If the vehicle is a pickup truck or sports car that lacks a rear seat, the child’s car seat may be placed on the front seat, but the passenger side airbag must be disabled if the child is using a rear-facing car safety seat. Otherwise, a child can ride in the front seat in a car seat or booster seat.

Citing sources including the AAA and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Mayor Mironov said car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 14 years old in the United States.

Properly installed child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives, but four out of five child safety seats are not properly installed, Mayor Mironov said, citing those sources.

Children who are restrained in a child safety seat have an 80 percent lower risk of a fatal injury compared to those who are not restrained. The seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent for infants and by 45 percent for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

“The proper use of child safety seats is one of the simplest and most effective means to protect young children passengers,” Mayor Mironov said.

“This pro-active initiative is to focus publicly on the high value of using child safety seats and using them properly. Residents will be given literature offering tips on child safety in vehicles,” she said.

Mayor Mironov encourages all residents who have child safety seats to attend one of the sessions – July 17, Aug. 6, Aug. 22 and Sept. 13.