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Aiming to ensure that child safety seats are correctly installed, a free car-seat safety check has been set for June 8 at the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center.

The car-seat safety check will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center by a certified technician.

Inspections will take place in the order of arrival, but reservations are recommended.

The center is located at 2381 Lawrenceville Road.

The car-seat and booster seat safety check program is being co-sponsored by the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, which is the lead organization of the Mercer County Coalition of Safe Kids, the Lawrence Township Office of Emergency Management and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

The technician will give a free inspection of the car seat or booster seat, examining it for correct use and installation. Children will receive free activity books.

Under state law, children who are under 4 years old and weigh less than 40 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Once a child turns 4, the youngster may ride in a front-facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness.

Children may transition to a booster seat when they outgrow the car seat. They must use a booster seat until they reach 8 years old and 57 inches in height. At that point, the child may sit on the seat and use a seat belt.

If the vehicle is a pickup truck or a sports car that lacks a rear seat, the child’s car seat may be placed on the front seat, but the passenger-side airbag must be disabled if the child is using a rear-facing car seat. Otherwise, a child can ride in the front seat in a car seat or booster seat.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 14 years old, and while properly installed child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives, more than 73 percent are improperly installed.

Children who are restrained in a child safety seat have an 80-percent lower risk of a fatal injury compared to those who are not restrained. The seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent for infants and by 45 percent for children aged 1 year old to 4 years old.

Reservations for the June 8 car seat safety check can be made by email to jmillner@slrc.org, or by calling 609-896-9500, ext. 2215.

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