Seat belts save lives, but not for everyone. For small children, seat belts alone aren’t enough.
Children younger than 8 years old or smaller than 4 feet 9 inches should be in a booster seat along with a seat belt.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, booster seats can reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent.
Rachel Zerbo with San Joaquin County Public Health says 80 percent of child fatalities in the county were linked to improper restraints or no restraints at all.
“Adult seat belts are made exactly for adults," Zerbo said. "If a child is sitting in an adult seat belt and it does not fit correctly, then the child is at a higher risk of injury or death.”
Zerbo said an $85,000 grant will allow for a year long project to hold free car seat checkups to make sure car and booster seats are installed correctly.
She said parents can also make an appointment to come in to make sure their car or booster seats are safe.
The next car seat checkup event is scheduled for Nov. 30 at Headstart in Linden in San Joaquin County.