Car seat inspections and replacements available during Saturday event | News, Sports, Jobs

CAR SEAT INSPECTION KIT — State Farm Insurance Agency Toni Moreland and the TEMS Joint Ambulance District, led by Director Clark Crago, have partnered to conduct a car seat inspection Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near Moreland’s Gem City Plaza office in Franklin Hold inspection meeting street. – Warren Scott

TORONTO — A local insurance agent and an emergency medical service are working together Saturday to ensure children are well protected in the event of a car accident.

State Farm Insurance Agent Toni Moreland and the TEMS Joint Ambulance District will conduct a car seat safety inspection event Saturday, which will feature a set of free car seats thanks to a grant from State Farm.

Clark Crago, the director of emergency services, said TEMS Ambulance Capt. Jeremiah Lucas and other trained volunteers will be outside Moreland’s office at Gem City Plaza on Franklin Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to check car seats.

Over the years, the Emergency Medical Service has offered low-income families by appointment car seat inspections and free car seats as part of the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program, but State Farm’s support will allow it to provide additional car seats to families outside of income guidelines.

“State Farm has really been a good neighbor,” said Crago, noting that the insurance company has committed $3,000 to such efforts in recent years.

Moreland said an inspection event was planned for Toronto in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

She said attendees should come in the vehicle they normally use to transport their child and with the child in the appropriate car seat.

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She said the idea is that Lucas and other parents and guardians can show how to properly install the seats themselves if needed and secure their children in the best way to protect them from injury.

“But we will not turn away those who come without their children,” said Crago, adding that staff and volunteers will determine if the seats have expired, been recalled or damaged.

He said it’s not always easy to tell when a seat is damaged, so he advises against buying used ones.

The US Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2020 in the US, 607 children under the age of 12 were killed and more than 63,000 injured in car accidents, and of these, 38 percent were not buckled properly.

The American Society for Positive Care of Children has estimated that the risk of catastrophic injury or death to a child in such accidents is reduced by 70 percent when car seats are used properly.

“In general, a car seat works wonders in a car accident,” agreed Crago.

Moreland pointed out that state law and wise parenting dictate that children use not just one, but three types of car seats as they grow.

For example, rear-facing car seats are typically used for children under the age of one, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that they continue to use them until they are 3 years old when they still fit properly.

Such seats have a harness and cradle designed to protect the child’s neck and spine.

When a child has outgrown a rear-facing seat, typically between the ages of 4 and 7, they should switch to a front-facing seat, which has a tether system that is much more secure than a standard toddler seat belt.

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For children aged 8 to 12, or those who have outgrown the recommended weight and height limits for a front-facing seat, a booster seat is recommended as it provides the extra height needed to ensure the seat belt of a vehicle fits properly.

The Ohio Department of Health reports that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 4 to 7, and Ohio has one of the lowest rates for child seat use.

State Farm officials recommend that parents and guardians install car seats themselves by following the instructions that come with them, as well as their vehicle’s manual, since the mechanisms will vary for them.

Also, they advise to always install car seats in the back seat, which is usually the safest area in an accident.

After a seat has been installed according to the instructions, it should rock side to side and back and forth to ensure it does not move more than an inch in any direction.

Rear-facing seats should be on a level base to prevent a child’s head from tipping forward.

If you are using a rear-facing or front-facing infant car seat, you should remove any bulky clothing from the child and fit the child’s back flush to the seat without hunching or hunching.

All straps should lie flat against the child with no twists or knots and be snug but not too tight.

The chest clip should be level with the child’s armpits and the shoulder straps should be on or just below the child’s shoulders.

Crago said of the event, “We want citizens to take advantage of this program. It is important to protect our future leaders.”

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He added that those unable to attend Saturday can call (740) 537-3891 to schedule an inspection at the TEMS station.

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