RCA students to assist with child seat check

CONYERS -- Even the best parents might not have their children's safety seats installed correctly in their vehicles. And this weekend, you can get your work double checked for free.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Rockdale Career Academy, the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute and Rockdale Career Academy students will partner for Child Safety Seat Check Day.

"Certified technicians will educate the parents and caregivers on installation techniques to help them ensure their children are as safe as they can be in their child safety seats," said Ben McCumber, public safety instructor at RCA. "Technicians will demonstrate a correct installation; parents will then repeat the installation and technicians will check the installation for accuracy."

Each check takes 20 to 30 minutes, he said.

About 25 RCA students will assist in the setup and cleanup, document safety checks, provide directions and information, games for kids and health and wellness information.

Students from the Public Safety Program, Healthcare Science Program, Early Childhood Education Program and the RCA Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter are working with technicians from the GTIPI this week to learn about the checks and the forms they will help fill out on Saturday.

"Students will shadow trained child seat safety technicians and assist them by filling out documentation of the seat check," McCumber said. "The child seat safety technicians check to make sure that the child seat being used is the proper one for the child's age, height and weight. They then check to ensure that the child seat is installed properly. If a problem is found, the technicians educate the parents and install the proper seats in the correct manner."

Early childhood students will provide games and activities for children at the event, and the health care students will give out general health and wellness information and perform some simple health checks.

"The health care and early childhood students will be putting what they have learned in the classroom into practice," McCumber said.

This is the second year that RCA has been able to assist the GTIPI -- last year, the school assisted at a different location, and offered its location this year.

"We realized this was an event that the students could get involved with," McCumber said. "Since then we have worked with GTIPI to host a conference and start a texting while driving campaign."

A member of the GTIPI also serves on the advisory council for the public safety program at RCA, he said.

Also at the event, CarFit technicians will be available to ensure that seasoned drivers are safe in their vehicles. Child passenger safety technicians from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the city of Decatur Fire Department, Athens Regional Medical Center and Newton County Juvenile Court also will be present to educate parents on correct child safety seat installations.

The event will take place in the back parking lot at RCA, which is located at 1064 Culpepper Drive, off Parker Road, in Conyers. It is free and open to the public.

"Anyone (can come) -- parents, grandparents, caregivers, expectant moms," McCumber said. "The cost is free, but the information is priceless."