Nearly 1,000 car seats will be given out free across the state next week through the state patrol and about two dozen hospitals.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly 1,000 car seats will be given out free across the state next week through the state patrol and about two dozen hospitals.
It is part of National Child Passenger Safety week. The seats were bought with federal funding and will go to help low income families.
In our area, those seats will be given out through St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls, Black River Falls Memorial Hospital and the Ho-Chunk Nation Health Department.
Right now those car seats and booster seats are packed up at Wisconsin State Patrol posts.
"It's a real nice program and to be able to provide it at no cost," said Lt. Jeff Lorentz with the Wisconsin State Patrol.
The seats will be delivered to area hospitals which will give them out to lower income families. That is something Lt. Lorentz says can be a life-saving tool as we saw last week.
He showed us these photos form a crash in Burnett County involving a mother and three kids.
"All of them survived the crash and all the children were in either the safety seat or in the booster seat itself," he said.
If you already have a car seat of your own or planning on getting one soon, Paula Pater with Safe Kids Chippewa Valley gave us a refresher on some of the tips you should know.
"The retainer clip that's this little plastic clip that sits right here, that needs to sit about arm pit level or at the nipple line, and we want to do a tight harness check so you shouldn't be able to pinch it from top to bottom," Pater said.
She says experts are now pushing for kids to be rear-facing in a car seat until they are two years old or reach the maximum weight for the seat.
"That's very important they are 5 times less likely to get injured," she said.
She says it is important to not buy seats second-hand from places like thrift stores. Also, do not add any extra blankets or mats on it for cushioning. And make sure the seat is snug.
"You wanna move it side to side, back and forth, it should not move more than an inch in either direction," she said.
And when it comes to which seat is safest, she says every seat sold in the U.S. has already passed the same safety standards.
"It might have extra padding, might be a more comfortable ride, but from a safety perspective they all pass the same safety standards," she said.
Safe Kids Chippewa Valley will be holding a car seat check on Saturday, September 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Markquart Motors off Highway 53.