The Attleboro Police Department has several car seat (CPS) technicians available to instruct residents on the proper installation of child restraint systems – at no cost. This is for City of Attleboro residents and done by appointment only.
What is a car seat clinic?
The car seat installation experience is an interactive one. As a caregiver, you should leave confident that your child’s seat is installed correctly and that you are comfortable re-installing and using it correctly. Your appointment will be with a National Certified – Child Passenger Safety Technician who will make sure that child rides as safe as possible in your vehicle.
Child Car Seat Safety
Each year children suffer serious injury or death in car accidents. Children need special protection when traveling in motor vehicles and many of these injuries can be prevented by the correct use of child safety seats. It is estimated that 80-90% of child safety seats are improperly installed. The best car seat is one that fits the child and the vehicle, and one that is easy to install and is used every time the child is in the car.
Are you and your child passengers properly restrained while driving?
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14 in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even a sudden stop can seriously injure a child who is not riding securely in the right type of child safety seat.
State and local police and others involved in child passenger safety (CPS) work continuously to educate parents and caregivers on how to safely transport children in motor vehicles and state and local police are ready to enforce the Massachusetts CPS Law if necessary to protect children. Last year in Massachusetts, drivers were issued over 1,060 CPS Law violations for unrestrained children under M.G.L. – Ch. 90, s. 7AA.
Tips for “best practices” when driving with children as passengers:
- Children from birth to 1 year and less than 20-22 pounds should be in a rear-facing infant seat. It is safest to have these seats in the back seat and away from air bags.
- Children should remain in a rear facing car seat as long as possible until they exceed the maximum weight or height for the car seat or at a minimum until they are 2 years old.
- Once a child has outgrown their rear facing car seat they should ride in a forward facing car seat with a harness until they reach the maximum weight or height allowed for their seat.
- Children who have outgrown a child safety should transition to a booster seat which assists in the proper fit of a safety belt.
- Children who are over 57″ and 80 pounds, typically around 8 – 12 years of age, are ready to use just a safety belt.
- Children 12 and younger should never sit in the front seat. The safest seating position is in the back seat, away from air bags if possible.
- Children 13 years of age or older may ride in the front seat, but should position their seat as far back as possible from the air bag.
- Always wear your lap and shoulder belt when driving — it protects you in case of a crash and it sets a good example for children.
What should I do to prepare for the clinic?
If expecting, schedule an appointment at least 1 month prior to Mom’s due date. We require appointments for all clinics. Keep in mind that some moms deliver early and you should be prepared well in advance. All you need to do is call the police station and leave us a voice mail at (508) 222-1212 ext. 2609. We will call you back as soon as we can.
If your child is already born, know your child’s weight and height.
- If your child is already born, bring your child with you. If possible, also bring another adult to help watch the child while you are learning.
- Using the Child Car Seat Instructions, install the seat into your vehicle prior to your appointment.
- Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to your appointment!
- Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS Technician install the car seat. They’re trained to teach you, not install it for you.
What can I expect?
This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the car seat and the vehicle. Please keep in mind that some installations can take up to 90 minutes depending on the car seat and the type of vehicle. The CPS Technician should take all the time necessary to ensure that you feel competent and confident in re-securing the car seat into the vehicle and re-buckling your child into the car seat on your own.
During the checkup, a competent CPS Technician will:
- Fill out a checklist form (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, if any, etc.).
- Review car seat selection appropriate for your child’s age, size, and review factors affecting proper use.
- Review the Car Seat Instructions and the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with the caregiver and ensure that both are being followed correctly.
- Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used, especially when using LATCH.
- Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.
- Have you install the car seat(s) correctly using either the seat belt or LATCH system. You are encouraged to ask to learn how to install the seat with either options or in different seating positions.
- Discuss the next steps for each child, such as when to move to the next type of car seat.
- Discuss the benefits of everyone riding properly restrained, including all adults.
- Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
- Discuss your state laws and best practice recommendations for occupant safety.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call us the Attleboro Police Department at (508) 222-1212, ext. 2609. Occasionally, we may not be able to schedule you for an appointment, if this is the case, we will refer you to another police department or agency that will make sure your child is safely riding in a motor vehicle.
Want to know more?
For additional information or questions about this program please contact:
Lieutenant Timothy Cook, Jr. via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached by phone at (508) 222-1212, ext. 2609.
To learn more about child seat and passenger safety, please visit: www.mass.gov/childsafetyseats .