Free Car Seat Checks

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It's National Passenger Safety Week. Saturday's focus all across the Brazos Valley was car seat checks.

"I got here at 8:30 and there already was a long line," said Adriana Torres of Bryan. Torres was one of many parents to get up early Saturday morning and take advantage of the free annual car seat safety check. Torres brought along her 2 children; one of which she didn't realize should still in a car seat.

"I didn't know that she should still be in one of those seats," said Torres.
The educational experience was definitely a game changer for Jonathan Stark, an injury lawyer, who shares his firsthand knowledge for this yearly event.

"It's been shocking to me that a regular dad can't go buy a car seat at Toys R Us, install it in the car and have confidence that it's in there correctly," said Stark. "It's just not that easy."

Stark's firm has been teaming up with the Texas A&M Texas AgriLife Extension Service for the past 7 years. During that time, 150 car seats in the Brazos Valley had to be destroyed because they were seen to be unsafe; either from damage or as a result of recall.

Only 3 car seats were seen as safe, which didn't require a single modification.

"What might look like a totally safe condition to a normal person when these professionals, they can point out some very serious safety defects," said Stark.

For the first 2 years, Stark said the safest position for your child's car seat is to be placed in the middle of the back seat, facing the rear of the car.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, a child safety seats can reduce fatal injury up to 71 percent for infants under 1 year old and 59 percent for children 1 to 4 years old.