Child Car Seats Get Checked for Safety

Friday, June 26th 2009, 5:22 pm

By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dozens of children in Oklahoma are killed or injured every year. That's because many of the child seats they're riding in are not properly secured.

One metro mom is trying to change that one seat at a time. She said she was nearly one of those statistics and wants other parents to know the dangers of unsecured child seats.

Katie Mueller learned at a very young age how precious life is.

"As an 18-month-old I was in a fatality accident in which I lost my mom because she was not wearing her seatbelt," Mueller, Child Safety Technician, said. "Thankfully, I was properly restrained in a child restraint. It performed as it should and I survived the crash."

She suffered from severe head trauma from the crash but she's also living proof of a child seat that's served its purpose. But not everyone is so lucky. The Department of Health states 89 children died in car accidents in 2007 in the state and nearly 70 of those deaths and countless injuries happened because of child seats that aren't properly restrained.

"They can suffer from traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal injuries, fractures, facial fractures from being ejected," The Children's Center Physical Therapist Melody Thomason said.

Thomason says having proper restraints can prevent accidents that happen all too often.

"Just this year at the Children's Center we have 20 children that have been in car accidents and head injured and had come through our rehabilitation program," Thomason said.

As for Mueller, her near-death experience has pushed her to help other parents about child safety.

"The first thing we want to make sure is children are sitting in the proper restraint for their age, weight and eight," Mueller said.

And these days, she's a proud mother playing with her 2-year-old pride and joy and a crash survivor with a calling.

"It's what I was made to do, is I feel like the circumstances I've been dealt have allowed me to be a voice and educate parents in a way I think I can reach them," Mueller said.

Saturday from 10 to noon at the Children's Center in Bethany there will be certified child safety technicians to make sure your car seat is properly installed. A limited number of car seats will also be given away.


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