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Buckle up: Car seat safety check point helps educate parents

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | September 18, 2015

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Balloons tapped to a yellow sign inscribed with the words “car seat check point” caught the attention of Lisa Johnson’s daughter.

“I want a balloon,” the youngster said to her mother, a pre-kindergarten teacher with the Child Development Center at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, as they walked to their car from the CDC.

The child was unaware her mother had planned to stop and get her a balloon while safety officials inspected her car seat.

The Johnson family received more than a balloon, they learned their car seat had expired and received a new car seat at the check point hosted by Marine Corps Community Services.

“The event was very informative and I did not know car seats expired,” Johnson said. “I am concerned about her health and safety and it is very important to me knowing she is in (a new) car seat.

Johnson added she is comforted knowing her child is protected and that she is happy and does mind getting in her new seat and strapping up.

Alisha Enfinger, MCCS’ safety officer and certified child passenger safety technician, conducted the annual event in recognition of the Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 13-19.

“We want to keep children safe when they are riding in vehicles,” Enfinger said. “The purpose of the event is to educate parents and caregivers how to properly install and use their child safety seats.”

The car seats are also checked to make sure there are no manufacture recalls and the seats have not expired, she added.

“There are actually several reasons why car seats expire such as engineering improvements and changes to safety regulations,” she said. “But the real reason is that most car seats are made of plastic and over time the plastic can fatigue and crack, hampering the seat’s ability to protect children in an accident.

“Climate changes and extreme temperatures, like those felt in Albany, can also accelerate plastic's degradation,” Enfinger added.

During the inspections, Enfinger found two car seats that expired in December 2012.

Parents and caregivers do not have to wait for the annual event to have their child safety seats checked.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 229-639-7050.


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