CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The little things parents do when strapping their child into a car could save that child's life in a crash.
Certified technicians will be on hand this week to check child safety seats in vehicles throughout West Virginia to ensure they are installed and being used properly.
It is part of national and state Child Passenger Safety Week, which is meant to call attention to and promote proper child safety seat usage.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Eight children under the age of 8 have been killed in West Virginia this year, said Bob Tipton, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. More than half were caused by improper restraints, he said.
"It's tragic, especially if it could have been prevented," Tipton said.
He said the Highway Safety office puts on training classes several times a year on the subject. The classes last about three days where certified instructors go over how to correctly install a car seat.
"It's not an easy thing to do," he said. "It's not a given that you can put it in just right.
"There's lots of little things that people don't do right."
Some of those little things involve making sure the seat base is secured tightly to the car seat, and that the seat's restraints are properly adjusted to keep the child firmly in the seat.
Tipton said it is more than just "throwing the car seat in."