Police Department offers help with car seats

John Richmeier

State law requires children to be appropriately restrained while riding in cars.

But Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens acknowledges that determining the appropriate child safety safety seat and then installing it can be difficult.

“It is not simple,” he said.

Kitchens said members of the Leavenworth Police Department’s Traffic Unit can help.

This week is recognized as Child Passenger Safety Week.

Kitchens said it is universally accepted that the risk of injury to children in car accidents is significantly reduced if they are properly restrained.

Child safety seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers, according to a website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, it is estimated that two out of three child safety seats are misused and about 25% of children ages 4-7 are prematurely moved to seat belts, according to a news release from the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.

“It is important to make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their weight, height and age,” Cynthia Callaway, traffic safety specialist with the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, said in a news release.

Kitchens said members of the Leavenworth Police Department’s Traffic Unit have attended training regarding the installation of child safety seats.

“It allows us to offer a service to the community," he said.

He said the officers can answer questions to make sure people have child safety seats that are the right size and fit. Officers also can help with installing child safety seats.

“Car seat installation can be a little bit tricky,” Kitchens said.

The Leavenworth Police Department can be reached at 913-651-2260.

Local residents also can use the website www.kansascarseatcheck.org to search for other agencies that provide assistance with child safety seats.

People also can visit the website www.UltimateCarSeatGuide.org for tips for selecting and installing child safety seats.

The National High Traffic Safety Administration’s website, www.nhtsa.gov, also offers tips for selecting and installing child safety seats.

The NHTSA also recommends parents register child safety seats in case of safety recalls. The agency’s website has a tool to help people register their car seats.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR