Bedford Co., VA - A properly installed child safety seat can save your little one's life in a crash. You might think a seat you don't have to worry about that comes built-in to your vehicle is even better, but officials say that's not the case.
Officials say integrated child safety seats, a popular vehicle option, marketed to moms and dads can be a problem for first responders. They prefer children in properly secured, yet removable, child safety seats because they can easily unhook and pull out an unattached seat in an emergency
"If we had an infant that was in a motor vehicle accident and they weren't severely injured and the integrity of the car seat was there we could very well transport them in that car seat, because that keeps them packaged the way they are and we don't have to do a whole lot of moving with them" said Matthew Norville, a firefighter. "We would strap it down to the stretcher and it wouldn't rock, sway or move at all."
The seat a child is used to can also provide a comfort zone to a child.
"A lot of times if they're in an environment where they are familiar with, and an average child knows they're still restrained in the car seat, that they are much calmer than if you take them out and seeing faces that they don't normally know. So they're still in their little environment," said Dep. Chief Janet Blankenship.
Inside their ambulance...
"Well built into our captain's chair here we have another child safety seat. Just like the seats that are built into the vehicles nowadays," said Norville.
That's in case of an emergency. But emergency responders cannot recommend the seats for everyday use.