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Child car seat inspection an eye-opener for York County parents

Bill Kalina
York Dispatch

Parents stopping by the parking lot of Kohl’s in Springettsbury Township recently learned some crucial lessons about protecting their children.

“I had no idea my car seat was installed the wrong way,” said Desiree Walker.

The Springettsbury Township mother worked with Tracy Linn of the Center for Traffic Safety to fix the problem and ensure her 7-month-old daughter, Paisley, was traveling safely.

Tracy Linn of the Center for Traffic Safety, left, checks a car seat for Desiree Walker, of Springettsbury Township, right, and her daughter Paisley, 7 months, during the Safe Kids York County child seat safety check at the Kohl's parking lot in Springettsbury Township Thursday, July 12, 2018. Walker is a Kohl's employee and stayed at the event to help. The Safe Kids Buckle Up team included representatives from the Center for Traffic Safety, WellSpan Health, Springettsbury Township Police, York Area United Fire and Rescue and Pennsylvania State Police. Car seat safety checks in your area can be found by calling Safe Kids York County at 888-232-SAFE (7233). Bill Kalina photo

“I can go home and fix my husband’s car seat,” she said, laughing.

The Safe Kids York County child seat safety checkup was offered Thursday, July 12, for about three hours outside Kohl’s near the York Galleria mall.

“It’s another opportunity to catch people when we go where they are — when they’re out shopping,” said Joe Anne Ward-Cottrell, a health educator with WellSpan Health.

The Safe Kids team included representatives from the Center for Traffic Safety, WellSpan Health, Springettsbury Township Police, York Area United Fire and Rescue and Pennsylvania State Police. The organizations provided certified child seat technicians.

Holly Davis, of Springettsbury Township, was impressed with the results after the technicians showed her how to make adjustments.

“The middle seat is way tighter. It’s remarkable,” she said. “I’ve tried really hard to get it that tight, and I’ve never gotten it like that.”

Her son Bryan, 2, endured the lesson his mother was learning, being moved to and from his seat. She has three children.

Missy Sweitzer of the Center for Traffic Safety, center, inspects the car seats in Holly Davis' vehicle while Sweitzer's son Bryan, 2, waits in his car seat during the Safe Kids York County child seat safety check at the Kohl's parking lot in Springettsbury Township Thursday, July 12, 2018. Davis has three children. The Safe Kids Buckle Up team included representatives from the Center for Traffic Safety, WellSpan Health, Springettsbury Township Police, York Area United Fire and Rescue and Pennsylvania State Police. Car seat safety checks in your area can be found by calling Safe Kids York County at 888-232-SAFE (7233). Bill Kalina photo

Pennsylvania law requires children younger than 8 to be secured in a car or booster seat. Children younger than 2 must use a rear-facing seat.

Parents who missed last week's event can make an appointment for a car seat check at area police, EMS and fire stations, Ward-Cottrell said.

To find the nearest car seat inspection facility, call Safe Kids at 1-888-232-SAFE (7233).