Berlin car seat event protects little Vermont passengers

Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT
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BERLIN, Vt. (WCAX) - Whether it’s a trip to the store or a long ride for vacation, having the proper child safety seat could save a child’s life in the event of a crash.

The Vermont Child Passenger Safety Program held its annual child safety seat check in Berlin Saturday.

“Every child leaves safer than they came in,” said Lt. Allen Fortin, with the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office.

The National Highway Safety Administration says car seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants, and 54% for toddlers.

Saturday, dozens of parents were given the opportunity for a full, top-to-bottom safety inspection.

Among them was Valerie Tofani and her grandchildren.

“I found that there’s anchors that we didn’t have attached,” said Tofani. “There’s things called tethers that I knew nothing about. They’re showing us how to properly install, take out, different mechanisms.”

Tofani says they helped her realize the little things that matter a great deal, like making sure it’s tight enough on the chest or waist.

According to data from the CDC, 46% of car and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness.

“What we want to make sure is that parents are abiding by the car seat regulations of weight and height; making sure that they’re not outgrown,” said Lt. Fortin. “So we’re hoping today that with our education parents and caregivers will make the right decision.”

After each child was weighed and measured, volunteer technicians showed parents the proper way to install the car seats. And before they could leave, parents were asked to show the techs what they learned.

“We want them to feel comfortable with the seat they have and it’s appropriate for the child, so if they have to move it from the seat that we have it in today into a different car or a different position in the car, they would feel comfortable on moving that seat properly,” said Lt. Fortin.

Caregivers who couldn’t afford a car seat were given one.

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