car-seatParents, grandparents, and other caregivers often have questions about when their child is ready for the next stage when it comes to riding in the car. For instance, when can the child turn from rear-facing to forward-facing, move into a booster seat, wear just the seat belt without a booster seat, and to what age is it recommended for the child to ride in the back seat? When parents and caregivers have questions, concerns, or need help installing the child safety seat, they may need to get in touch with a nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician or Instructor, who has specifically been trained in this area.

In Madison County, the public may call either the Madison County Health Department at 315-366-2361 or the New York State Police Troop D Headquarters in Oneida at 315-366-6000 to have their questions answered and to receive support over the phone. Both offices have a Certified Car Seat Technician on staff, who is able to field phone calls. Simply ask to speak with a staff member about car seats.

For those who have a car seat to be checked, people should call the New York State Police in Oneida to make an appointment at their Inspection Station. It is best to plan ahead and call well in advance of your need to use the car seat for your child.

The County also has a low-cost car seat distribution program for Madison County parents who are income-eligible. To find out if you are eligible or to make an appointment, call the Madison County Health Department if you live in Northern Madison County and call Community Action Partnership’s Morrisville office at 315-684-3144 extension 10 if you live in Southern Madison County. Both this program and the Inspection Station are by appointment only.

Funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee allows the Madison County Health Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police Troop D to hold three car seat checks in Madison County each year. Anyone may stop by to get their car seats checked, and no appointment is necessary at these public events.

One of these car seat checks will be held at the Big Lots parking lot at 102 Utica St., Hamilton, Friday, June 17, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The rain date is June 24 at the same time. While seats may be checked without the child present, bring the child with you if possible, so that staff can show you how the child should properly fit in the car seat. Please also make sure that you have installed the car seat in your vehicle so that staff can check for any errors and show you how to make any corrections. Staff will teach you what you need to know to help your child ride safely.

For a complete listing of inspection stations and car seat checks in New York state, visit the Governor’s Traffic Safety website at http://www.safeny.ny.gov/. The Hamilton event flyer is available in the calendar section of the Madison County Health Department’s website at www.healthymadisoncounty.org.

By martha

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