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Louisa County Sheriff's Office

Child Seat Inspection and Education Program
 


Keeping children safe is an important priority for the Louisa County Sheriff's Office. In the United States, car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 3 to 14. Sadly, nearly three out of four child safety seats are not used properly, which is a grave risk when traveling. That's why hands-on instruction at a child seat inspection station is so important. Proper use of child seats will help reduce the number of deaths and injuries occurring on America's roadways. Parents and caregivers need to make certain they and their kids are buckled up properly every trip, every time. 

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with the Transportation Safety Commission, is taking aggressive action to help parents and caregivers reduce the incidence of car seat and safety belt misuse by conducting a free child seat inspection and education program in Louisa County. The free program includes a permanent inspection station at Louisa County Rescue Squad, 83 Rescue Lane, Louisa, VA, with regular hours of service and special weekend community outreach events. At the inspection station, nationally certified technicians will assist and educate parents and caregivers on the right way to buckle-up children on every ride. Weekday appointments are available Monday-Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm (except holidays). Weekend appointments are available the 2nd Saturday of every month, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Other special community outreach events will be published in the Central Virginian. To make an appoinment, call 540-967-4598 or 540-223-8348.

Don't let cost stand in your way to ensuring your child's safety! The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Division of Injury and Violence Prevention has a statewide Child Safety Seat Program that offers seat distribution and education to low-income families. Applicants must meet certain requirements to qualify. Call Louisa VDH at (540) 967-3703 for more information.

Child safety is everyone's business. By taking a proactive stance, we can cut the risk of serious injury or death in vehicle mishaps involving children. Call the Louisa County Sheriff's Office to schedule child seat check today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you explain exactly what the Child Seat Inspection and Education Program is?

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office, with support from the Transportation Safety Commission, is taking aggressive action to reduce the incidence of car seat and safety belt misuse by establishing a free child seat inspection and education program in Louisa County. The free program includes a permanent inspection station at Louisa County Rescue Squad with regular hours of service and annual community outreach events. At the inspection station, nationally certified technicians from the Sheriff's Office assist and educate parents and caregivers on the right way to buckle-up children on every ride.

Why is it important for parents to have their child's seat inspected?

In the United States, car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 3 to 14. During a crash, unrestrained or improperly restrained children become missiles within the occupant compartment of the vehicle. When coupled with the fact that almost four out of every five child seats are installed incorrectly by parents and caregivers, we can make a big difference by ensuring vehicle occupants are properly restrained. Correctly used child seats are extremely effective and reduce the risk of death as much as 71%.

Why did the Louisa County Sheriff's Office and the Transportation Safety Commission feel that this was a program that the county needed?

Child safety is everyone's business and as such, keeping children safe is a priority for both the Louisa County Sheriff's Office and Transportation Safety Commission. While state law requires all children under the age of eight to be properly secured in a child seat or booster seat and by an appropriate safety belt system after that time, children are still being killed in Virginia as a result of not being restrained properly. With grim reminders of that fact occurring much too frequently around the state and nation, the Sheriff's Office, in coordination with the Transportation Safety Commission established the Child Seat Inspection and Education Program and made this program an integral element of our many community policing initiatives. Our goal is simple -- reduce serious or fatal injuries to children by teaching parents and caregivers how to buckle up children the right way every time.

Out of the number of inspections that you have performed, approximately how many seats had been properly installed?

Based on child seat checks conducted to date in Louisa County, only approximately 20-25% are properly installed.

What is one fact that parents often do not realize about car seats?

Proper child seat installation requires the right knowledge and thorough understanding of the child seat and the vehicle. Parents and caregivers should ALWAYS refer to the child safety seat instruction booklet and the vehicle owner's manual for correct installation and usage of car seats, booster seats, and safety belts.


What tips do you have for parents?

  • Every person on every ride must use a car seat, booster seat, or safety belt that's right for his or her weight and height.


  • A quick trip down the road does not excuse child seat or seat belt use. Three out of four vehicle mishaps occur within 25 miles of the victim's home.


  • Do not allow your child to ride in vehicles where drivers or passengers do not use safety restraints.

  • Never let children ride on laps or in cargo areas or pickup truck beds.

  • Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat of the vehicle.

  • Weigh and measure children often to be sure they are using the right safety device.

  • Never use car seats purchased from yard sales, secondhand stores, or flea markets.

  • Always register your car seat with the manufacturer; registration helps ensure parents or caregivers are made aware of product recalls.


When can parents have the inspection performed?

Weekday appointments are available Monday-Friday, 4:00-5:00 pm (except holidays). Weekend appointments are available the 2nd Saturday of every month, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Other special community outreach events will be published in the Central Virginian. The permanent inspection station is located at Louisa County Rescue Squad 83 Rescue Lane Louisa VA. Call 540-967-4589 or 540-223-8348 to make an appointment.

For more information, who should they contact?

For more information, contact Deputy Rob Sarnoski at (540) 223-8348.

 

 

Key links:

VDH Child Passenger Safety - www.vahealth.org/Injury/safetyseat/index.htm

VDH Low Income Child Seat Distribution - www.vahealth.org/injury/safetyseat/LISSDEP_Map.htm

VA Child Restraint Law - 46.2-1095 - http://leg1.state.va.us/000/lst/LS560508.HTM

SafeKids USA - www.safekids.org/in-your-area/coalitions/list.html?localstate=VA&state=VA

Find a Child Safety Seat Check Station Near You - www.vahealth.org/Injury/safetyseat/permanent.htm
 
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