Bay area parents of children who are 4 years old or older can get a free child car booster seat at one of two giveaway events this Friday and Saturday.
At each event, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be on-site to educate parents and caregivers on proper installation as well as provide a new booster seat at no charge, while supplies last. To qualify for a free booster seat, the child must be present and at least age 4 and over 40 pounds.
The two Bay area events are:
Friday, March 15
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Town 'n Country Children's Board Family Resource Center
7520 W. Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33615
Call to RSVP (813) 356-1703
Saturday, March 16
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
East County Children's Board Family Resource Center
639 E. Alexander St.
Plant City, FL 33563
Call to RSVP (813) 752-8700
According to AAA and the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, which are coordinating these events, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among U.S. children, but Florida has the most lenient child passenger safety laws in the nation.
In Florida, children ages 3 and under are required to be secured in a car seat, but are permitted to use a standard seat belt start at 4. "Safety belts are designed for adults and do not fit properly on a young child," says Michele Harris, director, AAA Traffic Safety Culture, The Auto Club Group. "This can expose children to life threatening injuries in the event of a crash."
AAA and the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation recommend that children who have outgrown their five point harness car seat by weight or height use a booster seat until they reach 4'9" (typically between the ages of 8-12). A booster seat "boosts" a child up and allows for proper placement of the lap and shoulder belt, which is crucial for safety during a crash.
Without a booster seat, safety belts cross over a child's soft stomach and neck which can lead to serious debilitating injuries. Use of booster seats can reduce injuries by 45 percent compared to using an adult safety belt alone.
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