Parents learn about car seat safety at clinic

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 3, 2002

After a car seat safety inspection her in mini-van, Chris Grev vowed she was never going to remove the seat now that it was secure.

She may have been joking, but Grev said the information she learned at the Car Seat Safety Clinic at Drs. David Elrod and Peter Green's dentist office was well worth it.

"I know my seat wasn't in tight enough," Grev said. "Now I know how to put it in properly."

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Grev learned how to secure the car seat for her 2-year-old daughter, Ava, and came away from the clinic with two new booster seats for her 9 and 6 year old daughters.

Mary Svoboda, a certified child passenger safety technician and nurse on Mayo One, showed Grev how to install the seats properly.

Svoboda said motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 and that half of the children killed in those accidents were unrestrained in the car.

Minnesota law states that children under four years of age need to be fastened in a child safety seat.

But Svoboda said a child who is under 80 pounds and shorter than 4'9" should be in a car seat.

Booster seats allow the seat belt to fit the child properly, which causes less injury if the child is involved in an accident, Svoboda said.

Seats should be replaced at least every six years because wear and tear and heat can reduce its effectiveness, she said.

At the program, Svoboda and two other certified child passenger safety technicians also checked to see if the car seat the parents bought had been recalled for any reason.

There are three certified child passenger safety technicians in Mower County. Because there are so few, clinics like the one Friday are rare.

"It usually depends on if we have time," Svoboda said.

Svoboda teaches car seat safety at Woodson Community School in parent education classes in the fall and spring. Mower County also hosts car seat safety clinic occasionally, she said.

Svoboda also has information about car seat safety and some free and discounted seats for people who need them.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at