The most important job you have as a parent is keeping your child safe. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car accidents. In the United States during 2011, more than 650 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 148,000 were injured.
The western North Carolina community has come together to help host Buckle Up, Baby!, a free car seat safety clinic to help battle the alarming statistics.
Local law enforcement officers along with Angel Medical Center and Safe Kids NC have teamed up to host Buckle Up, Baby! to provide families in western North Carolina with the opportunity to get their car seat checked by certified car seat technicians.
The Buckle Up, Baby! event will be held at two locations in Macon County. On April 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., checking locations will be at The Franklin Fun Factory and the Highlands Hudson Library. Although the event is being held in Macon County, it is open to all families in western North Carolina.
“Events like Buckle Up, Baby! are so important for families, but unfortunately are rarely held west of Asheville,” said event organizer, Brittney Burns. Burns decided to organize a car seat safety event after learning that her nine-month old son’s car seat was incorrectly installed.
“I read an article titled '10 deadly things you are doing with you child’s car seat' and despite reading every manual and thinking that I had it installed perfectly, I found out that Turner’s seat was actually wrong. That is when I reached out to local law enforcement and others in the community, and the response has just been great. I think it really shows how important an event like this really is.”
Buckle Up, Baby! is not just for parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers. Anyone who transports children will have an opportunity to learn how to properly install a seat. Smoky Mountain Chevrolet will be providing vehicles for certified technicians to give installation demonstrations for individuals such as family members or parents-to-be, who may not have a car seat yet.
Just for attending the event, participants will be given a discount card that will give them a 10 percent discount to more than 30 local businesses in Macon, Jackson, and Swain counties that will be good from April 6-April 12, the week following the event. There will also be a free raffle for attendees that include chances to win prizes from local businesses, a set of event corn hole boards from BKL Boards, a photography session from Ruby Peoples Photography, car seats, and even a two-night stay at Fontana Village Resort valued at more than $250.
Children will be treated to goodies like coloring books from Dnet Internet Services, event stickers, books from Read2Me, and tons of other give-aways.
A free pizza lunch will be provided by Biltmore Baptist Church and all children will be given a free $5 play card to the Franklin Fun Factory.
Even though car seats are proven to be the most effective way to prevent serious automobile injuries, nearly 75 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly. The certified technicians will help figure out if a seat is right for the child and right for the vehicle. If the seat is not correct, you will receive a brand new replacement seat for free.
Using a car seat is the best protection you can give your child when traveling by car. Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (ages less than one year) by 71 percent; and to toddlers (ages 1 to 4 years) by 54 percent in passenger vehicles.
Every state in the United States requires that an infant or small child be restrained. Child safety seats can substantially reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury, especially for babies but also for toddlers.