Officials say kids under 80 pounds need to be in a car seat

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Following a car accident on Locust Road, that left a 2 year old boy seriously injured, Abc 57 talked with officials about how to make sure your kids are buckled in correctly to protect them incase of a car accident. 

Luetenabt Tim Williams, with the Mishawaka Police Department says if your child is under 80 pounds  they need to be in some form of car seat or booster seat and that seat needs to be fastened properly.


"That is the most precious cargo on the roadway, a child."  Lt. Williams says a car accident can happen in a split second and as a parent, you need to be prepared. "You want to make sure that the actual car seat does not move either way left or right.  If it moves before the actual seat belts lock up and help the child, that extra movement can cause a greater chance for that child to be injured."


Williams explains, once the carseat is locked in place, it is just as important to make sure your toddler’s harness is fastened properly.  "You want to make sure the harness is on snug enough that when you pinch the webbing in an up and down motion, you cannot pinch the webbing in between your fingers, if you can, then the harness is too loose."


Lt. Williams says you must make sure the chest clip sits on your toddler’s chest, at armpit level. "During a crash a child is going to have forward movement and that harness clip is going to slide down with the child," that lessens the impact of a car crash on your baby’s body.


But Lt. Williams says having that harness in the wrong spot, can be a deadly mistake. "If it is too low it is going to cause internal injuries, damage organs and possibly the spine."


Officials say in a car crash, children's body’s absorb a lot of the impact—and because they are so small, that shock can do a lot of damage.


If you want to make sure your car seat is installed properly or if you have small kids and do not have money to buy a car seat, you can stop by any Mishawaka Fire Department and get one for free, they only ask that you leave a small donation.


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