Char-Koosta News

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DHRD Transportation program car seat giveaway a success

By B.L. Azure
Char-Koosta News

Whether the needed safety seat was for babies or toddlers, like this one, the DHRD Transportation program and WalMart had all the bases covered. (B.L. Azure photo)Whether the needed safety seat was for babies or toddlers, like this one, the DHRD Transportation program and WalMart had all the bases covered. (B.L. Azure photo)

PABLO — The Quick Silver service station was busier than usual recently when the Department of Human Resources Development program gave away and properly installed baby/toddler car seats at no cost to recipients. By the time the two-day effort was done nearly 176 car seats were given away and properly installed by Quick Silver and DHRD staffers.

Leandria Cutfinger, DHRD Transportation administrative assistant, said the car seat give away was a success, and continues to be as a few “stragglers” have stopped by Quick Silver to get the remaining car seats.

“We had a great turn out and were able to provide a lot of information and answers to questions from the people,” Cutfinger said.

A big part of the car seat give away was educational and informative.

Another happy customer gets a safer way to ride in a car thanks to the DHRD Transportation program and WalMart. (B.L. Azure photo)Another happy customer gets a safer way to ride in a car thanks to the DHRD Transportation program and WalMart. (B.L. Azure photo)

“A lot of people are not aware that not all car seats are the same,” Cutfinger said. “They need the right size car seat based on the weight and height of the child. An improperly used car seat can do more harm than good.”

So can an old worn out or out of date car seat.

“We did a safety check on the existing seats to see if they were still in good shape and properly fastened down. If not we replace them or fasten them down properly,” Cutfinger said. “We also check to see if the existing seat has been recalled by the manufacturer. If a person fills out the registration papers with the manufacturer they are kept abreast of the recalls. That’s why it’s important to register the seats.”

Cutfinger said the best place for the car seats is in the left or right side of the back seat of a vehicle with the child facing backwards. Since 2001 federal regulations require vehicles to be equipped with anchors and latches that anchor the car seat better.

Leandria Cutfinger (right) helps a customer with installation of a baby/toddler car seat. (B.L. Azure photo)Leandria Cutfinger (right) helps a customer with installation of a baby/toddler car seat. (B.L. Azure photo)

“You never want a child in the middle of the back seat facing forward,” she said. “There is just too much chance of dashboard debris hitting the child in collision.”

According to Corky Sias, manager of the DHRD Transportation program, the car seats that were given away cost approximately $10,000. Sias expressed his gratitude to the Polson WalMart for the monetary discounts given on the car seats. The free car seats were for Indians and non-Indians without any income stipulation.

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