Each year, approximately 1,800 children who are less than 14 years of age lose their lives as the result of a motor vehicle crash. Another 280,000 children are injured.
Child safety seats, when properly installed, save lives. A study released by the National Safe Kids Campaign, however, reports that at least 85 percent of the 17,500 seats inspected were installed incorrectly. The most common misuses were the safety belt not holding the seat tightly and harness straps not being used properly.
The Williston Fire Department provides free child car seat safety checks and installations on Fridays by appointment only. Exceptions include special events and holidays. Please allow 30 min for the installation and the safety check process.
Schedule your safety seat inspection! Call (802) 878-5622 or Click here to fill out the registration form.
The Williston Fire Department has four certified and licensed Child Passenger Safety Technicians on staff ready to provide the most updated information and a free check of your child seat and, if necessary, perform a complete child seat installation. All technicians are certified through the Vermont State Department of Health and the National Child Passenger Safety Board (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) after completing an intensive, 40-hour course.
The team will share:
- The steps of restraint as the child grows:
o Rear- to forward-facing car seat
o Forward-facing harnessed seat to a booster seat
o Booster to an adult safety belt
- The benefits of riding properly restrained, including all adults.
- Safety in and around the vehicle (never leaving children unattended, walking around the vehicle before moving, etc.)
- State laws and best practice recommendations for occupant safety
What happens if I show up at a fire station unannounced, without an appointment?
Most likely there will not be a certified car seat technician available. The on-duty staff will schedule an appointment and you will have to return another day.
How long does an appointment last?
An appointment will last approximately 30-45 minutes. You will be instructed on the function of your seat, proper fit and installation for your vehicle, and how to secure your child in the seat accurately.
What should I bring to an appointment?
1. The child (unless you are pregnant or cannot travel safely with the child.)
2. The car seat's owner's manual.
3. Your vehicle's owner's manual.
Please ensure you have prepared the seat for the installation, which means removing the seat from the box and plastic wrapping, etc.
Why are installations by appointment only?
Every agency that installs car seats by appointment only so that our citizens are guaranteed a certified car seat technician for their entire appointment.
Why should we have our car seat(s) installed by a trained technician?
Each vehicle, seat belt and car seat presents a unique and sometimes challenging situation. Having your seat(s) checked by a trained technician will lower the chance of your children being unnecessarily injured in a crash.
What is the law regarding child restraints in Vermont?
Children less than 1 year of age or who weigh less than 20 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing position in a child passenger restraining system. The child passenger restraining system must not be installed in front of an active airbag.
Children 0-7 years old must be restrained in a car seat. Children 8-18 years old must be restrained in a seat belt. However, the law does not protect your child. Seat belts are designed to fit adults. Children should be retrained in some type of seat, whether it is a 5-point harness or a belt positioning booster, until they fit the seat belt like an adult. The recommended guideline for an adult is 4'9" tall and 80-100 pounds.
When can my child sit in the front seat?
When properly restrained, children are safest in the backseat of a vehicle. The center, rear position is the safest since there is more vehicle surrounding the child on every side. Children are particularly vulnerable to the explosive impact of the bag. Please keep your children in the backseat until they are at least 14 years old.
What should I do if my child won't stay in her/his car seat or seat belt?
Children do not know what is best for them, make it clear they will not be allowed to travel anywhere until they are properly restrained and must remain so for the entire time traveling. Pull to the side of the road and stop if they unlatch themselves. Set a good example by always buckling up the moment you get in the car.
Where can I get more information until my scheduled appointment?
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov or Safe Kids USA at http://www.usa.safekids.org/ for more help. Feel free to call Williston Fire Department with any additional questions, (802) 878-5622.
To find additional information on child safety, visit the Safe Kids Vermont at the Fletcher Allen Health Care community resource page.