Is your child really safe in the car seat? Parent error putting kids at risk

Every week more than a dozen kids die in car accidents. One-third aren't buckled in, and 70-percent are strapped in incorrectly, putting their lives at risk.

\"If you're hit, you hope that they're protected.\"

Grandmother of two and 3-year-old little girls Brenda Young, checks and rechecks her grandkids seats, making sure every piece is in place.

\"The car can be replaced, your kids cannot,\" Young said

But, even the most careful can make mistakes.

\"We show them the deficiencies and they're shocked. They think they've read the directions the correct way, and installed the correct way.\"

Wauwatosa Firefighter Jeremy Blair says the problem starts before the child ever gets into the car.

\"They don't want you to move that to the right or the left more than an inch,\" Blair said.

Every latch, strap, and hook must be tightly secured. Even the tilt of the seat must align with the car.

There should be no recalls or expired seats and if it's been in accident, throw it out.

\"It's the difference between life and death,\" Blair said.

It's not the only problem Blair sees. Bulky winter coats can send a kid flying out of the car seat, straps that are too loose or too tight, even the placement can make a difference.

\"We don't want to have it too far up where it's choking the child, especially if they have a collision, that'll put pressure on their airway, and we don't want to have it too low where it's over their stomach,” Blair said.

It takes time, but cutting corners have proven tragic all too often.

\"They're children, they're innocent children, if we don't protect them, who is?\" grandmother Brenda young said.

You can get a full car seat check at the Wauwatosa Fire Department or for more locations visit

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