FOUNTAIN, Colo. — Safe Kids Colorado Springs partnered with the Fountain Fire Department to offer free car seat checks on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment. This comes as National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week is the week of September 18.

“Collisions remain a leading cause of preventable injury for children,” said Amanda Abramczyk-Thill, Injury Prevention Outreach Specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs. “And so we’re here to help parents and caregivers know that their car is safe and that it’s being used correctly and is going to protect the child the way it’s supposed to.”

Colorado Springs community members signed up for free 45-minute appointments to get their car seat checked.

“This is a new car seat to us, and I want to make sure that it’s installed safely,” said Autumn Allen, Event Attendee. “And that she is able to sit in it properly with the right adjustments due to weight and height.”

Child Passenger Safety Technician, Fernando San Miguel, provided tips on checking the expiration date of a car seat.

“We always go through like the manufacturer’s date of the car seat, the expiration date,” said San Miguel. “All the car seats expire mostly from seven to ten years, depending on the manufacturer and the car seat. The bigger the car seat…the more time that they give you.”

One goal of Safe Kids Colorado Springs is to teach parents how to properly install car seats so they can do it at home.

“Our intent is that the parent or caregiver leaves the appointment and knows how to correctly install their horsey and harness their child so we go over proper installation,” said Abramczyk-Thill.

Safe Kids Colorado Springs had a checklist for technicians to go over.

“[I] make sure that the base is installed correctly… we don’t want more than an inch of movement side to side,” said San Miguel. “Also, the levels mostly are for the recline of the baby’s head to make sure that when they fall asleep, their head is not dropping and closing the airways, which is very important.”

For parents like Autumn Allen, the car check helps her learn proper car seat adjustment.

“It’s important that we know how to do it ourselves so we can transfer them from car to car and just make sure that if anything looks like it can be an issue that we can solve it ourselves,” said Allen.

Abramczyk-Thill sharing their mission is for people to leave the car checks feeling safer than they came.

“We want to make sure that their outcome is a lot better,” stated Abramczyk-Thill. “We don’t want crashes to happen, but we want to make sure in the case that if they do, that your child’s protected the way they’re supposed to be.”

To schedule a one-on-one appointment for a car seat check you can email Safe Kids Colorado Springs at safekidscoloradosprings@childrenscolorado.org or call them at 719-305-7233.