COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – With recent car accidents in the CSRA resulting in the deaths of children, Columbia County Fire Rescue is educating parents on how to keep their kids as safe as possible while riding in a car. 

“I think with current events, a lot of people were concerned about whether or not their kids were buckled in safely or whether or not their car seats were installed safely,” said Lt. James Thomas with Columbia County Fire Rescue Station 6.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages one to 13, and 46% of car seats are used incorrectly.

Many of the lieutenants at Station 6 are licensed car safety seat technicians, and they’ve been using their knowledge to show parents how to properly install car seats for about four years.

“People are convinced, I was convinced as a parent that I knew how to install a car seat,” Lt. James said. “And it wasn’t until I took the class that I realized I never did. There’s a lot that goes into it, there’s the type of brand of seat that you have, the type of car that you have.”

He said about a dozen people have come to the fire station in the past week for the tutorial.

One couple we spoke to was being proactive.

“This is something that I feel like everybody should know, regardless of what education or training they do have,” said Alexis Griffith, a soon-to-be mother who was learning how to install a car seat. “I feel like this is something that if you aren’t properly trained for, you’re not gonna know what to look for. So, it is really important.”

And if your car seat is damaged or needs to be replaced, the station will give you a new one.

“It isn’t that you show up and we install your seat for you,” Lt. James said. “What we are actually trained to do, is to teach you how to install it correctly. So when you leave here, we know that you know how to install your seat in your vehicle.”

To make an appointment to learn how to properly install your car seat, you can call Fire Station 6 at (706) 855-7322.