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Ferris Fire Department giving free car seats

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - Parents with young children, regardless of income and economic standing, are eligible to obtain free child safety seats from the Ferris Volunteer Fire Department, which is participating in the statewide Safe Riders Car Seat program.

'The people we're targeting are people without car seats,' said Ferris Fire Chief Eddie Duran.

Seats are available in infant, child or booster sizes, depending on the child's age and weight.

Parents wishing to obtain a car seat need to set an appointment to watch a 30-minute video instructing them how to properly install infant and child safety seats.

Duran said parents need to bring a copy of the birth certificate or the baby's hospital ID bracelet to the appointment to verify the child's age.

Frank Luera, administrator for Texas Safety Seat

Program, said most parents believe they know how to properly install child safety seats correctly, but sometimes the car seats will face the wrong direction, the straps are not tight enough or the harness is not correctly fastened across the seat.

'Four out of five car seats are not installed properly,' said Luera. 'Not all safe safety seats are compatible with all restraint systems in all vehicles.'

Drivers are subject to fines up to $200 per child not being in an approved safety seat.

'Children under age four or 36 inches in height or less need to be in some form of a safety seat,' states the Texas Transportation Code, section 545.412.

'A child age four through 16 must be restrained in a seat belt regardless of position in the vehicle.'

Started in 1985, the Safe Rider Program is sponsored by the Texas Department of Health and Texas Department of Transportation.

To set an appointment for viewing the instructional video, call the Ferris Volunteer Fire Department at 972-842-2898.

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