Inspecting child safety seats urged

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

WASHINGTON -- DaimlerChrysler Corp. is beginning a campaign to encourage parents to have their child safety seats inspected.

A survey conducted by DaimlerChrysler shows that four of 10 caregivers do not know where to get an inspection even though more than 1,500 car seat inspection locations are available.

"So many parents don't know that they need to get their seats checked," Suraya DaSante, manager of safety programs for DaimlerChrysler, said Tuesday. "Promotion is a huge part of the battle."

The government, automakers and safety groups have been working in recent years to build a system of inspection locations around the country. More than 20,000 inspectors have been trained and certified, but DaimlerChrysler says only 200,000 seat inspections were conducted last year.

Parents looking for an inspection site will be able to call DaimlerChrysler toll-free at 1-866-732-8243 or visit online at http://www.seatcheck.org. The company will also buy advertisements to promote the campaign.

Of the parents surveyed by DaimlerChrylser, 97 percent said they were comfortable that they were using their child seats correctly, but the automaker said studies show only 20 percent of seats are correctly installed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child safety seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.

DaimlerChryler's survey of 500 adults was conducted from Jan. 26-28. It has an error margin of 4 percentage points.

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