Cleveland County Health Department to host free car seat check event Friday in Moore

·2 min read

Jun. 7—A properly-installed car seat could be the difference in saving a young child's life in a wreck, but they're commonly installed improperly.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46% of car seats are not installed correctly.

To address this, the Cleveland County Health Department will host a free car seat check event with installation assistance for native Spanish and English speakers.

The seat check and instruction session takes place from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Moore Health Department, 424 S. Eastern Ave.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 13, according to NHTSA. That's why county officials say clinics like this are important for the safety of Oklahoma children.

County health educator Jennifer Trejo-Rojo said most car seat installations they see need to be redone because they aren't properly installed, Trejo-Rojo said. She estimates about four of every five car seats are installed improperly.

"There's a teaching component to this car seat check," Trejo-Rojo said. "We show the parents how to properly install the seats. Clients who need a different language can also set up a one-on-one with the health department where they can access help for the appropriate language."

Anyone in or near Cleveland County who needs assistance may attend and assistance on a first come, first serve basis. Each instructional installation takes about 30 minutes.

Trejo-Rojo said they prefer the child to be at the event, but if unable, parents and guardians should come with updated information on the child's current weight and height.

All three technicians working the event are nationally certified. Trejo-Rojo speaks Spanish and English.

A limited number of free car seats are available for those on government assistance. A legal guardian or parent of the child must be present and drive the car where the car seat will be installed to receive the free seat.

Cleveland County health educator Kelsey Harlan said the seat check event will become an annual tradition for the area.

"We have had a big increase over this last year for car seat requests because there are not a lot of car seat technicians at this time in south-central Oklahoma," Harlan said.

Harlan said organizers wanted to put on the event to provide a closer option for assistance for those in McClain, Garvin and Grady counties.

"We've been getting a lot of car seat appointments from other counties because there's a shortage of car seat technicians, so we decided to set up this event to address the need," Trejo-Rojo said. "We also provide handouts in various languages in case anyone needs that variation."

To sign up for the free car seat, visit bhttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4dada82dabfdc34-carseat1.

Jeff Elkins covers business, living and community stories for The Transcript. Reach him at jelkins@normantranscript.com or at @JeffElkins12 on Twitter.