Martha’s Vineyard parents urged to check child car seats

Edgartown police hosted a 40-hour training class last week to teach public safety personnel how to inspect child safety seats and help parents understand how to use them.

Eight people attended the training at the Edgartown fire station, where they were certified to properly install and inspect child safety seats.

“As a result of the class, there is now a certified technician in every town on the Island,” Edgartown police Chief Tony Bettencourt said in a statement. “We encourage you to check with your local police or fire department for more information.”

Safe Kids USA, a national nonprofit group that works to prevent child injuries, conducted the training.

According to a 2005 study by the federal Department of Transportation, 1,335 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes that year and approximately 184,000 were injured.

After observing child restraining systems in six states, the study’s authors concluded that there was at least one critical misuse in 84 percent of the child restraints observed.

That study concluded that child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 percent for infants, and by 54 percent for toddlers ages one to four years.