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Tampa Police Department provides free car seats and inspections

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 31, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Tampa Police Department is working to make sure every parent knows how to properly install a car seat to protect their child.

Parents can come out to the Academy Prep Center of Tampa from 5 to 8 p.m. to get their car seat inspected for free. TPD is even giving free car seats to residents that qualify.

This is the ninth Child Safety Seat event TPD has held this year. Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be checking to see if your car seat is installed properly.

They want to make sure the straps of the car seat are tightly secured on your child. They’ll also check the manufacturing date, to make sure the car seat isn’t expired or has been recalled.

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Child Passenger Safety Technicians said the most common mistake they see is the seat belts from the actual car not being utilized properly.

“Typically, they kind of just put it on like you would your regular seat belt, and they don’t fasten it or extend where it ratchets back and then actually put your weight in the car seat to get it secured. Because the car seat to be properly installed can't move more than an inch, from left to right or front to back,” said Sgt. John Womack.

Last year, TPD received a grant to hold Child Safety Seat community events but was not able to due to the pandemic.

Florida law requires a child to be in a car seat until five years old and a child should be rear-facing up to two years old.

If you’re not able to make it out, you can register online for a free safety inspection or a free car seat.

Find the right car seat

Install your car seat correctly

Keep your child safe in a car seat

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website for more information on car seat safety as well as recalls involving car seats.