Three common car seat ‘mistakes’ that could put your child at risk

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Master Firefighter Chris Moore says a click could save your child’s life.

“Listen for that click,” he demonstrates while installing a child safety seat.

He points out clips found in the backseat of newer vehicle models, but the same idea comes into play when you are using a seat belt for restraint.

“That clicking means it will lock, and any kind of impact it will stay locked right there,” Moore pulls the belt out until he hears the clicking sound.

As a first time mom-to-be, 8News Anchor Amy Lacey stopped by the Richmond Fire Department to learn more about car seat safety. The department sees its fair share of crashes each year and the consequences of improperly installed seats.

“You want to be able to slip your hand in here,” Moore recommends leaving at least that much space between the front seat and where a rear-facing car seat hits just in case.

“When you’re in an accident, something has to be able to give a little,” he explains. “So you want this to bounce and not the child.”

Loose toys and gadgets for kids are no no’s. Moore says that should include mirrors that have become popular with parents wanting to check in on their child.

First responders have seen the dangers.

“If you’re in a car accident or something, that’s like projectile that can fly up and hit the child that’s in the seat.”

There are also plenty of neighborhoods, especially in the City, where street parking is the norm.

For installation, Moore suggests picking the passenger side over hazards that come with the driver’s side.

“Every time you take the child out, you’re in traffic,” he warns.

The following Richmond Fire Department stations are car seat inspection stations:

Richmond Fire Station 14
2932 Hawthorne Avenue
(804) 646-0745

Richmond Fire Station 17
2211 Semmes Avenue
(804) 646-8096

Richmond Fire Station 19
311 Maple Avenue
(804) 646-1701

Appointments are available to see if yours is installed properly.

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