State Police Gives Boost On Child Safety

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

February 9, 2006

There is nothing a parent wants more than to keep their child safe. Virginia State Police officers are lending a helping hand to drive home the importance of child safety seats on our roads.

"Oh Gosh, in my own experiences, I've seen horrendous crashes," said Trooper Hunter Brickhead of the Virginia State Police Department.

Crashes which can hurt, or kill any woman, man, or child. It does not have to get that bad.

"People have come out with minor scratches, and bruises simply because they either had their seat belts on, or their child was buckled properly," added Trooper Brickhead.

Because of various outcomes with accidents, Virginia State Police is boosting their support, for the use of child safety seats in cars. The department is observing 'National Child Passenger Safety Week'.

Research shows too many children, between the ages of 4 and 8, go from the child seat straight into the adult seat when they should be going into the booster seat.

"Under the age of six, it's absolutely required. Under the age of 16, it's absolutely required that children be wearing the appropriate child safety seat," added Trooper Brickhead.

Troopers have heard it all, from not wanting to wrinkle clothes to lack of comfort, when it comes to adults not wearing a seat belt. For kids, a good excuse during the winter is, the clothes are too bulky. Still, there is a way to place a child safely into a child seat.

"Tighten the straps up to where you can not pinch them, but you can have a finger's width beneath the straps then you can put the blankets and towels around the child in a car seat," said Donna Walker with the Monticello Branch of the Albemarle County Fire Department."

Using that specific method is proven to work, but still 4% percent of those four to eight year olds, are still not properly seated in a car, and a whopping 86% under 16 are also not properly seated.

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