For parents of young children, the car seat is one of the most important safety features in a car, but they can make big mistakes with car seats without even knowing it.
An estimated 90 percent of people in Rutherford County are not installing child safety seats the right way. So a child safety checkpoint Thursday couldn't have come at a better time.
Lauren Hale, of Murfreesboro, thought she had her 3-month-old son Conner's car seat installed properly.
"It took us a few tries, but we think we have it in there right," Hale said.
But she was wrong.
"See how much that moves? That's just not tight enough," said Rutherford County EMS coordinator Terry Cunningham, as she showed the mother how loose the seat was.
"I'm in shock that it moves that much, and that's not OK," Hale said.
Hale was not alone. Ryan Austin, of Murfreesboro, thought the same thing about his child's car seat.
"When you secure a seat, you should only have one-inch of movement," Cunningham told Austin.
"I thought it was perfect," Austin said. "I'm just glad I came out here because my child's safety is number one."
Last week, 2-year-old Mason Carney was thrown from his parents' car when it was involved in a pileup on Shelbyville Highway in Rutherford County.
According to authorities, a piece of metal severed the seat belt, and Mason was thrown 30 feet, still buckled in the car seat. He was injured, but survived.
"That's awesome that the baby is still alive and doing well," Hale said. "It goes to show that car seats really work."
The checkpoint Thursday served multiple purposes. It was part of the National Child Passengers Technician Course.
Technicians and workers with EMS, Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue, sheriff's department and Wilson County bus officials are being trained as part of a three-day certified training course.
Car seats were not the only thing the technicians were concerned about. They were also checking for after-market accessories like interior mirrors that could become dangerous projectiles in a crash.
"Things like toys on the handle and rear view mirrors, which could in a crash cause injury to that child or other occupants in the vehicle," Cunningham said.
At the conclusion of the three-day course, the workers will become certified child safety seat technicians.
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