Quincy Police offering car seat training program for local parents

QUINCY, Mass. — Officer Lauren Lambert reads off the care seat serial number.

“Frank 02 001,” Lambert said.

That’s to register your child’s car seat, which is vital if there’s ever a recall. Call it car seat 101; all part of a program that parents are flocking to in Quincy.

“I feel a lot safer because I don’t think I was doing it right,” said Dian Vey.

She stopped by with her son, Maverick, and now he’s sitting pretty. Mike Howard-Johnson and his wife came too. Their daughter is due in a few weeks.

“It takes five minutes to do. Why not have someone check it out make sure you do the best for your kid,” Howard-Johnson said.

Quincy Police Officer Terry Downing runs the car seat safety program and shared a surprising statistic.

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“About 49-50% of all seats are installed improperly. Our goal is to educate parents to make sure their child leaves safer than how they arrived,” Officer Downing said.

He said parents come with common questions including: Do they have the right seat? Is the seat in correctly?

Officer Lambert is one of 10 trained technicians who help install car seats. She was explaining to parents how to spot what’s called a LATCH system. LATCH is an acronym for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.

“Every vehicle pretty much has this little – it’s almost the shape of a dime,” Officer Lambert said.

That’s where you attach a rear-facing car seat. You can turn the seat front-facing at age 2, but that depends on your child’s weight and what the car seat manufacturer recommends. It’s a lot to know.

“All car seats are hard and depending on the model of the car too that you have,” Gwen Rhodes said.

And that’s why this weekly and free service is so popular.

“There’s just so many ways you can do it wrong and it’s just not worth it, an accident takes a split second,” said Maura DaSilva of Dedham.

Quincy Police offer the car seat program every Tuesday from 4-8 p.m., weather permitting. There’s more information on their web and Facebook pages.