Car seat inspections can save the lives of Southwest Florida children

You pay big bucks for car seats. Therefore, you expect they will keep precious cargo safe.

“Car seats depending on the type can decrease fatality or severe injury by anywhere from 70 to 90 percent,” said Sally Kreuscher, SafeKids coordinator at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

But it will only work if you use the car seat correctly. The car seat wasn’t correctly used in the devastating crash last week that claimed the life of a 9-month-old baby. However, parents can take steps to avoid that nightmare.

Golisano Children’s Hospital is among the 12 places in Southwest Florida that will inspect your car seat for free. With the help of Kreuscher, I had my kids’ car seats checked.

“Harnessing probably is the biggest misuse that we see,” Kreuscher said. “Families don’t know where the chest clip goes, where the harness strap goes.”

The harness strap goes at or below the baby’s shoulder when rear facing. They go at or above the child’s shoulders when forward facing.

The chest clip goes at the armpit level. Also, have your child face backward until he or she maxes out the weight limit for rear-facing. Then, turn them forward.

And, you can only use these until the child and car seat together weigh 65 pounds. Then, secure the car seat with a seat-belt.

Either way, know this.

“When families install the seat they don’t get it as nice and tight,” Kreuscher said. “Manufacturers allow up to one inch of movement.”

The next time you travel in your vehicle with precious cargo, remember these tips. Vehicle crashes are the leading killer for children between ages 1 to 13-years-old.

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The following are the 12 places in Southwest Florida that will inspect your car seat for free:

Safe Kids Southwest Florida

North Fort Myers Fire Department
2900 Trail Dairy Circle
North Fort Myers, FL 33917

Schedule:
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM To 4:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Christi Kulwicki
[email protected]
239-997-8654

Department of Health-Charlotte County
1100 Loveland Boulevard
Port Charlotte, FL 33980

Schedule:
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Heather Boyd
[email protected]
941- 624-7273

Twinkle Twinkle Little Store
4172 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34103

Schedule:
Monday – Sunday 9:00 AM To 6:30 PM
Appointment Required: No

Department of Health-Collier
3339 Tamiami Trail East, Bldg. H
Naples, FL 34112

Schedule:
2nd Monday of the month 9:00 AM To 12:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Brenda Hernandez
[email protected]
239-565-8371

Department of Health
83 Pondella Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Schedule:
2nd Friday of the month 9:00 AM To 12:00 PM
Appointment Required: No

Healthcare Network of SW Florida
1441 Heritage Boulevard
Immokalee, FL 34142

Schedule:
1st Tuesday of the month 9:00 AM To 4:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Brenda Hernandez
[email protected]
239-565-8371

Cape Coral Hospital
636 Del Prado Blvd S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990

Schedule:
Tuesday,Thursday 9:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Lorena Rodriguez
[email protected]
239-343-5803

Golisano Nicklaus Children’s Health Center
3361 Pine Ridge Road, Ste. 106
Naples, FL 34109

Schedule:
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM To 4:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Brenda Hernandez
[email protected]
239-565-8371

Florida Highway Patrol
10031 Daniels Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33913

Schedule:
1st Friday of the month 9:00 AM To 12:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Greg Bueno
[email protected]
239-229-9605

Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District
5700 Pine Island Rd.
Bokeelia, FL 33922

Schedule:
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM To 4:00 PM
Appointment Required: No

The Golisano Children’s Hospital of SouthWest Florida
9981 S HealthPark Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908

Schedule:
Monday – Saturday 8:30 AM To 5:00 PM
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Sally Kreuscher
[email protected]
239-343-6199

Collier County Sheriff’s Office
3301 Tamiami Trail E. Building J.
Naples, FL 34112

Schedule:
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM To 5:00 AM To
Appointment Required: Yes
Contact:
Marianna Herrera
[email protected]
239-252-0367

The car seat inspection will take less than 30 minutes.

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan
Writer:Michael Mora
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