PLATTSBURGH — For Trisha and Jamie Blaise of Plattsburgh, nothing is more important than protecting their two young children, Ayla, 4, and Keegan, 18 months.
The family participated in this year’s car-seat safety check Saturday as part of the region’s Law Enforcement Weekend held at Champlain Centre mall.
Trisha and Jamie were purposely there to make sure they had their child-protective car seats installed correctly in both family vehicles.
“We had a lot of trouble getting Keegan’s seat into Jamie’s car,” Trisha said as certified car-seat technicians worked on the seats in both her and Jamie’s vehicles. “We decided to have them check mine at the same time, make them both safe for our children.
“There’s a lot to know (in putting car seats into the back seat correctly),” she added. “Each seat is different; to be safe, it’s important to make sure (the seats are installed correctly).
“We know the children are much safer (with properly installed seats).”
Installing a child-protective car seat is a lot more complex than placing the item on the car’s backseat and then attaching the car’s seat belts once the child is put into place.
“I’d say that eight out of 10 seats are not properly installed,” said Mitch Carriere, traffic-safety specialist for Clinton County and a licensed car-seat-technician instructor. “There are always a lot of compatibility issues. (Child-protective) seats are not always compatible to a vehicle.”
If nothing else, parents should read both their car-seat manual and the automobile owner’s manual to make sure they have purchased a proper seat for their vehicle and to ensure they install the seat properly.
Car-seat checks performed by certified technicians help take away the guesswork for parents who may have some doubts about their ability to install the seats correctly.