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LAPD pushes proper child-seat installation

April 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Most everyone agrees that child safety seats are a great idea. However, they still have to be installed properly. A campaign to help parents make sure their kids are safe is under way.

Los Angeles Police Traffic Division personnel are setting up child-safety inspection clinics throughout the Los Angeles area all week.

Tuesday morning they were in North Hollywood. Officers pulled over parent after parent to inspect child-safety seats in their cars. No tickets were given, just advice on how to properly put the safety seats in place.

"We're saving lives," said LAPD Sgt. Arturo Gomez. "Based on statistics, throughout the U.S. we lose about four children a day in deaths relating to improper installation or improper securing of that child in that vehicle."

Police say 9 out of 10 child-safety seats are installed incorrectly. They say when the seats are installed correctly, they reduce childhood deaths and injuries by up to 70 percent.

"People don't really realize the amount of energy that is created in an automobile crash," said LAPD Officer Norman Kellems. "When a child is not installed properly in their child restraint, any extra movement can cause trauma to the body."

Kellems says parents need to make sure seatbelts are strapped through child-safety seats and locked in place to prevent a child from being rattled around in the event of an accident. The child should be strapped into the harness nice and snug.

Police say it is all about safety, especially when it comes to our children.