Time to inspect your child's safety seat

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, and the Edinburg Children's Hospital teamed up with the Rio Grande Valley Child Safety Awareness Resource Coalition for a "Car Seat Check Off" to inspect car seats and teach mommies and daddies the right way to install child safety seats and booster seats.

"For me it's very important that my children are safe in the car," said Martha Zapata in Spanish.

Zapata said she saw technicians from the side of the road and decided to pull over and get a course on how to install a safety seat for her son.

"If I'm driving and all of a sudden have to brake, now I know that he'll be safe with the car seat installed correctly," said Zapata.

Robert McCrea with the Mission Police Department is a certified technician.

He said it's very important that parents get their child safety seats inspected every 6 months because they could be due for a bigger seat.

"A lot of people don't realize just because they put their child in a seat doesn't necessarily mean that it's properly installed and the child can still be at risk or danger of injury if involved in a crash," said McCrea.

His advice is for parents to learn the history of the car seat and make sure it hasn't been in any accidents.

They should also check to see if the seat is on any recall lists, and before you head out on the road, make sure your child is buckled up.

"You could be issued a citation for that if your child is not properly installed in a safety seat," said McCrea.

Edinburg Children's Hospital also has classes that you could take that may qualify you for a free car seat if you meet the requirements.

For more information on that contact the hospital: (956) 388-6800

The following is a list of locations that will be performing car seat safety inspections. You can also contact your local police department and ask if there is a technician available to check your car seat.

- Rio Grande Valley Child Safety Seat Inspections

EdinburgDate: Tuesday, September 21, 2010Time: 9 am to 12 pmLocation: Edinburg Children's Hospital - 1102 W. Trenton, Edinburg Contact Person: Julie Foster ( (956) 388-6519 Sponsored by: R.A.S.E. Inc., Rio Grande Valley C.A.R. Coalition, Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Edinburg Children's Hospital

HarlingenDate: Wednesday, September 22, 2010Time: 9 am to 12 pmLocation: Kohl's Department Store - 2715 W. Business 83, Harlingen, Texas Contact Person: (956) 793-1174 Sponsored by: Su Clinica Familiar, Kohls Department Store