BANGOR – It’s something that’s often over looked but could be extremely fatal. Parents are acting now to ensure their kids safety while in motor vehicles.
Cars are lined up outside of quirk Chevrolet with parents anxiously wait to hear feedback about whether or not their kids have been safe in their car seats.
“We know historically 9 out of 10, most are installed improperly and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death among young children,” said Staci Fortunato, a technician.
It’s not always evident either.
“I think some people come in and think they have it right and realize that they didn’t have everything correct,” said Fortunato, “It’s sometimes not just one misuse but multiple misuses. Some families know that it was never correct and they are just really concerned with how their seat fits so we’re always anxious for families to come in and have their seats checked by another sets of eyes.”
For some car seats even having cup holders could make a difference.
“We tell parents to expect 45 minutes per seat and sometimes people come in and think we are just going to check it,” she said, “We check for recalls, fit. We check for other things – especially if there are other children in the vehicle. Where’s the best seat for everyone in that vehicle?”
Safe Kids Maine and Quirk Chevrolet hosts this free safety check regularly so that everyone is safe.
“We’re hoping to be here more frequently because the response and demand has been incredible,” said Fortunato.
It’s not uncommon to have parents leave a bit disappointed that they put their kids at risk.
“Better to find out this way than in an accident,” said concerned father, Benjamin Cyr.
“We just kind of tell them that their kids are safer than when they have arrived,” said Fortunato.
And with thousands of styles, it’s hard to be informed about all the rules.
“It’s tricky. The directions aren’t always easy. You think it’s as simple as ABC, but then think you need a college degree to figure it out,” said Dora Winslow, a concerned grandmother.
Safe Kids Maine say that it’s better to ask questions no matter how silly it may seem, then regret it in the future.
“I do believe that it’s really easy to think that it’s safe and it’s really not. It’s a really sad thing to find out when you have an accident that you have prevented a death,” said Winslow.