Parents and caregivers learned about proper car seat installation and use at free event hosted by Yolo County’s Car Seat Safety Program on Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Winters Fire Department. Participants received one-on-one assistance from specialists trained in proper use of car seats.

Winters resident Maria Duran is the outreach specialist for the program and was one of the car seat technicians on hand to talk people through car seat installation and care. The specialists helped people navigate their car seat manuals and demonstrated the correct way to install car seats.

Anna Enriquez, another car seat technician, said that they see all types of people at their car seat events. Some are new parents, others are trying to fit multiple sizes of car seats into one back seat. She says that they also see grandparents and other caregivers who want to make sure they are using the car seats properly. Enriquez says that in her experience, everyone who attends the event leaves with new information.

According to their website, the Car Seat Safety Program’s goal is to, “reduce the number of injuries from motor vehicle crashes associated with children ages 0-12 years old, by increasing the correct use of car seats.”

They do this with the help of their certified child passenger safety technicians, who educate the public on important information like the proper placement of car seat harnesses, the proper time to “graduate” a child to the next largest size of car seat and how to be informed about car seat recalls.

These services are free to any resident of Yolo County. If the resident cannot bring the child who uses the seat to the event, the program offers dolls, weighted as if they were real children, to be used in their place. This way the technicians can demonstrate the correct way to place and tighten harnesses. Enriquez says that even if the person only has an estimate of the child’s height, they can work with them.

The program also offers a low cost car seat program, to ensure that all children have the proper car seat for their size. The program is open to Yolo County residents who qualify for programs like WIC, AFDC, CHDP or Medi-Cal.

The Car Seat Safety Program also recycles used and unsafe car seats.

Residents can call or email to set up free one-on-one sessions with a safety technician at the Health and Human Services Agency at 137 North Cottonwood St. in Woodland. Duran says that she schedules quarterly events in Winters, but that the next car seat event has not been scheduled yet.

To get more information about any of the Car Seat Safety Program’s events or to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a car seat specialist, call 530- 406-4410.

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