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Ashland police officers get child safety seat certification

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- Four Ashland police officers have been certified in the use of child safety seats and will offer assistance to parents as part of child occupant protection checkpoints in the city, according to Maj. Mark McDowell.

Police officers Jay Church, Erik Wilder, Scott Menefee and Nick Lewis received the certification last week in a child occupant protection program in Charleston.

Nationwide, child safety seat checkpoints routinely discover that eight out of 10 children are not properly restrained in appropriate child safety seats or belt systems, McDowell said. "Every day children sustain serious injuries or die in motor vehicle crashes, and many of these injuries and deaths can be avoided with the correct use of safety seats and seat belts."

"If the child safety seats aren't installed correctly, the benefits aren't there to protect the child," McDowell said. "Numerous compatibility problems exist between child safety seats and motor vehicles. We have an immediate need in the country for child passenger safety professionals who can explain these complicated issues in an understandable way and who can demonstrate safe and proper child safety seat installation to the public."

"We need some components from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before we can begin," he said. "We're also trying to get in a supply of safety seats. We want to start this before the end of the year."

The police department will schedule checkpoints at various locations where certified technicians can assist parents on the proper use of child safety seats, McDowell said.

"There are no tickets involved," he said. "We want to use this as a positive outreach. We want to educate our young parents to the proper use of child safety seats."

The checkpoints could be held at the police department at 201 17th St., and at local businesses.

Another recommendation is that children under the age of 12 not sit in front passenger seats of vehicles due to air bag deployment in case of an accident, he said.

Times and locations for the checkpoints will be posted on the police department's Facebook page and on Twitter @AshlandKYPD.

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