Safe Kids West Tenn. coalition hosts child safety seat course

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — A local coalition is taking action to keep kids safe.

Safe Kids West Tennessee coalition hosted a first-of-its-kind child safety seat training class Wednesday.

“It’s actually been a very big learning experience for me because I thought I knew a lot about car seats and car seat installation,” participant Christy Akins said.

The coalition was created in 2016 by local first responders who saw a need to increase child safety and injury prevention.

“There’s so many children throughout West Tennessee that are using booster seats and car seats,” Lt. Brad Wilbanks with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Wilbanks said more experts in the field means children will be safer.

The class is a mix between first responders, health officials and community members.

Christy Akins is a nursing supervisor with the Le Bonheur outpatient clinic and says  she’ll be able to take the information and use it on the job.

“We will now be able to be a checkpoint at different times for car seats for parents, so it’s another service we can offer our families,” she said.

Every vehicle is different, meaning car seats will have to be placed a certain way. Participants had to complete skill tests throughout the course.

“They have different tethers, different anchor points, and that’s what they’ll be learning is the safest place for that vehicle to place the car seat or booster seat,” Lt. Wilbanks said.

Officials say booster seats and car seats can greatly increase the chance of a child surviving a crash. If officers inspect a vehicle that doesn’t have it placed properly, they do not take the situation lightly.

“No exceptions,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “If we see a child that’s not properly restrained, we will issue a citation.”

This Friday, first responders will conduct a car fit check. The public can stop by the Madison County Fire Department and make sure they are using the proper car seat or booster seat. The event is free and will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Categories: Local News, News