Most Viewed Stories
Keeping Kids safe
California Highway Patrol officers give time to help out local parents
Ten-month-old Samanatha Venegas, nestled snuggly in her car seat, started to cry as California Highway Patrol officer Mike Smith instructed her mother Rosa Martinez on how to properly fit the safety straps.
Martinez also had Smith check the booster seat for her 6-year-old daughter, Rosalinda Venegas.
“My sister told me about this program. [I’m here] for safety,” said Martinez, a concerned parent who brought her car seats to be looked at on Saturday at the CHP office in Porterville at the Child
Safety Seat Saturday event.
“[It’s] mainly for the education of people. Some parents don’t know how to put in car seats or haven’t been taught. We want to make sure that everyone is kept safe,” stated Smith. A table was set up with brochures, pamphlets and information for the public. On display were a few car seats which would be given away to families whose seat was either outdated or recalled.
CHP officers recommended that a child stay rear-facing until the child weighs at least 35 pounds.
“When the child is rear-facing the car seat is at an incline, and in an accident the kid isn’t getting whiplash as [the impact] spreads all that energy from the accident over a larger portion of their body and their car seat,” added Smith who pointed out that a number of factors should be taken into account when deciding on a car seat including; the car as in how much room it has, the car seat itself, the child’s height, weight, age and the location of the seat in the car.
Linda Orneles came to have her car seat looked at as well. Orneles, who has a 1-year-old son, came for her peace of mind.
“In case of a car accident it’s secure and protects the child,” stated Orneles.
Orneles was to shown the teethers, latches, and officers recommended that she exchange the seat for a smaller one.
For those who are ticketed the fine can vary. Smith pointed out that the fine is up to the judge.
“Through experience most people want to keep babies safer than themselves,” stated Smith.
The need for a car seat is very elementary.
“A seat belt in a vehicle is designed for a person of a certain height, weight and size. A big person’s seat belt wouldn’t fit a small person,” explained Smith.
The program was hosted by the CHP, which according to Smith has had it for the past 10 years or more and is put on once a month around various CHP offices in Tulare County.
Parents can also have their seat checked by calling the CHP from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Every CHP office in California has child seat technicians. Parents can schedule an appointment and can go to any office CHP office. They don’t have to wait,” added Smith.