9 out of 10 car seats in the Treasure Valley not installed or used correctly

Posted at 5:46 AM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 14:23:19-04

A recent study by the National Highway Safety Administration found close to half of all cars seats in the country are not installed or used correctly, but child safety experts at St. Luke's Children's Hospital say 90 percent of car seats in the Treasure Valley are not installed or used correctly. Officials say it's all because of miscommunication.

"We think we have the seat installed if the seat is not moving a whole lot, unfortunately, there is much more to the installation," explained Josie Bryan, Child Injury Prevention Coordinator for St. Luke's Children's Hospital.

From having the chest clip too low, or too much wiggle room, police say these simple mistakes can have deadly consequences. Idaho law states kids must be in a child passenger seat until their seventh birthday

"If you were to get into a crash, especially a serious crash where possibly the vehicle turns over or rolls completely you have a likelihood of the car seat itself, or even just the child out of the car seat thrown around or thrown out of the vehicle," said Corporal Matt Wersing of the Idaho State Police.

With the Treasure Valley close to 40% above the national average, child injury prevention experts are working hard to inform parents on the possible dangers and how to prevent them. St. Luke's holds car seat check events  three times a month. Two at St. Luke’s Meridian and one  at their downtown location. 

"The more we can get the word out about car seat safety the better our entire community will be," said Bryan.

Child injury prevention leaders  will be holding a free car seat check this Saturday at Kohl's in Meridian from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m with Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician from St. Luke's on site.