"I've probably checked more than 10,000 car seats in my career," Tipton said. "Very seldom do you find one in 100 percent correct."
He said he's heard stories where children who weren't secured properly in the seat were ejected in a crash and also where the entire child seat was ejected.
A toddler was killed last month when his parents' vehicle crashed on Interstate 77 in Jackson County. The child seat was ejected with the toddler still inside when the vehicle rolled.
Other stories show how a child safety seat can save a child's life. Tipton pointed to a July incident in Pendleton County where a woman was thrown from her vehicle and killed but her child survived.
The woman and baby were missing for several hours when authorities heard the baby's cries and followed them to the scene of the crash. The baby was found unharmed and still restrained in the child safety seat.
He said interest in the classes has increased.
"Usually when we teach a class we ask at the beginning 'what do you think your abilities are in putting the seats in correctly?'" Tipton said. "The majority of them thought they knew what they were doing, but then they got home and saw what all they had done wrong on their own (seat).
"We know it makes a difference because now they're able to check everybody else's car seats."
Children under 8 are required to ride in safety or booster seats. If the child is under 8 but taller than 4-foot-nine, a seat belt is sufficient, according to state law.
Car seat checks will be available 2 to 5 p.m. today at the Scottish Rite Temple on Capitol Street in Charleston, 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Clarksburg Walmart, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Vienna Walmart, Tridelphia Walmart and Beckley and Princeton fire departments, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.