PITTSBURG — Local law enforcement personnel will host a free Safety Seat Check event for families to ensure child car seat safety on Thursday, May 16 at the Family Resource Center in Pittsburg.

The event, which will take place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, is sponsored by the Pittsburg Police Department in coordination with the Pittsburg Noon and Sunrise Rotary Clubs.

Kansas law requires children ages four through seven to be secured in a booster seat whenever they are riding in a vehicle.

The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) further advises that children under the age of one year old should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. “There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing,” the KHP website notes. “Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.”

Children should continue to use a rear-facing car safety seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed by the seat's manufacturer.

“Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness,” the KHP notes.

From ages four through seven, children are required to ride in a booster seat unless the child weighs over 80 pounds, is taller than four feet nine inches tall, or only a lap belt is available. Children who are exempt from riding in a booster seat because they meet the height or weight requirements still have to wear a lap belt.

“Children ages 8 though 13 must be protected by a seat belt,” the KHP website notes. “Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.”

The Family Resource Center is located at 1600 N. Walnut St., Pittsburg. For more information, contact the Pittsburg Police Department at (620) 231-1700.