MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – Cleveland County Health Department officials say a statewide shortage in car seat technicians prompted a special event for Oklahoma families at the agency’s Moore location June 17.

On Friday, June 17, families can have their car seats checked in the CCHD Moore parking lot from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Anyone can attend on a first-come-first-served basis. Each instructional installation takes about 30 minutes.

“We’ve been getting a lot of car seat appointments from other counties because there’s a shortage on car seat technicians so we decided to set up this event to address the need,” County Health Educator Jennifer Trejo Rojo said.

All three technicians working the event are nationally certified, and one of them speaks both Spanish and English.

“We also provide hand outs in various languages in case anyone needs that variation,” said Trejo Rojo. “Clients who need a different language can also set up a one-on-one with the health department where they can access help for the appropriate language.”

Car crashes are “a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but NHTSA also reports that car seats, properly installed, save hundreds of lives annually.

CCHD officials say that’s why events like this clinic are crucial for the safety of Oklahoma children.

“Most car seats we see need to be done because they are not properly installed,” Trejo Rojo said. “About four out of five children, the car seat is not properly installed. There is a teaching component to this car seat check. We show the parents how to properly install the seats.”

For the best results, the child should attend the event with the parents for a proper installation, but if they cannot be there, caregivers will need to bring the child’s current height and weight information.

Officials say there will also be a limited number of free car seats available for those on government assistance (SNAP, WIC, unemployment, etc.), but you will need to sign up for the car seat ahead of time. A legal guardian of the child must be there to receive the free seat and they must come in the vehicle where the car seat will be installed.

If you have any questions or prefer an appointment, then please call the Cleveland County Health Dept. in Norman at 405-321-4048.