COLDWATER (WTVB) - It’s a timely event for the Safe Kids Coalition of Branch County. A study published just last week out of the University of Michigan confirmed how most kids in the U.S. do not sit safely in cars, either because they are not properly restrained in car seats or booster seats, or because they sit in the front seat. Next Friday, Safe Kids of Branch County is hosting a free car seat safety check for parents, grandparents and caregivers. It’s happening from four until 8 p.m. at the Baker College parking lot in Coldwater, the site of the old K-Mart building. No appointments are needed. Children must be present for the check. All car seats are checked by certified child passenger safety technicians. New seats are available for those determined to need a new or different seat. This free community event is sponsored by the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, and the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, in addition to the Safe Kids of Branch County. Researchers at the U-of-M found that just 3 percent of children between ages 1 and 3 who were restrained at all were sitting in a proper, rear-facing car seat, and only 10 percent of 8-to-10-year-old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or a car seat. Properly seating a child in a car seat or booster seat, and in the back seat, reduces the risk of injury or death, but the study confirmed many parents don't follow the guidelines. Again, the free car seat safety check in Coldwater is next Friday, four until 8 p.m. at the Baker College parking lot in front of the old K-Mart building.
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