While most parents feel like they are protecting their child by making sure the child uses a car seat, they don't realize that often times the car seat is installed improperly.
According to Prince William County Fire and Rescue Public Education Coordinator Bob Wall, a lot of people don't install child safety seats in their cars properly because it's not as easy as people think it is.
"People, unfortunately, think it's an easy thing. You put it in the car, put the kid in it, but … most people don't read the directions completely. They're really a little bit more complicated than they seem to be," Wall said.
That's where the Prince William Department of Fire and Rescue can help. They have people who are experts at installing car seats; and on Thursday, Dec. 22, they will be in the parking lot of the Hobby Lobby at 14000 Shoppers Best Way in Woodbridge from 2 to 5 p.m. to talk with people about car seat selection, direction the seat faces, installation, location and harnessing.
Making a mistake in any one of these areas of car seat installation might not be critical, but people often make more than one mistake, Wall said. "There's a lot of little nuances that people don't think of, because … they don't think they're going to be in a crash. When you start adding up the minor mistakes into a crash, it becomes deadly. We get all five things wrong, we're in trouble."
Wall encouraged people to try and attend the event and said that there will be a special guest there for the kids. "We'll be out there with Santa. We're going to be checking car seats, and he'll be talking to kids about using their seats and Christmas."
Those who can't make the event on Dec. 22 can always go to their nearest Fire and Rescue station to get help installing their car seats, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. All Prince William County firefighters are nationally certified in car seat installation, Wall said. Someone will be there to help unless they're out on a call.
For more information or if you have questions about car seat safety, visit the department's Facebook page, Wall said.