CHILD SAFETY PROTECTS LIFE IN LAHAINA, MAUI

June 11, 2009, 3:14 PM HST · Updated June 11, 3:20 PM
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A 5-year-old boy survived a crash in West Maui after a Lahaina officer took steps to properly install his child safety seat.

“It’s not often that an officer who’s trained as a Child Passenger Safety Technician is able to see the fruits of his labors,” said Captain Charles Hirata.

Officer Stuart Farberow, who is assigned to the Lahaina Patrol District offered to reinstall the child-seat after noticing its improper installation.  In doing so, the seat was moved from the side of the car to the middle, the seatbelt was rerouted, and the seat was secured to ensure limited movement in the event of a collision.

Less than two weeks later at 1:40 p.m. on May 25th, Officer Farberow responded to an accident at the intersection of the Honoapiilani Highway and Shaw Street in Lahaina.

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He observed a 1995 red Jeep Cherokee on its side, the same vehicle that had undergone child seat corrections at his urging.  The Cherokee was heading south when it lost control and collided with a white GMC pickup truck that was waiting to make a left turn onto Shaw Street.  According to police, the 5 year old boy, with the exception of some minor scratches from broken glass on his leg, was fine.

“Moving the child car-seat to the center rear position was probably instrumental in preventing serious injury to the child,” said Capt. Hirata.

Studies have shown that nine out of ten child restraints are installed incorrectly.  Seats should be installed so that there is less that one inch of side to side movement at the belt-path.  Harnesses should be snug and you shouldn’t be able to pinch any webbing.  Motorists are also advised to read instruction manuals for both the child car-seat and their own car when installing a child restraint.

A child car-seat checkup event will be held at Maui Marketplace near Border’s Books on June 20th from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm.  There is no charge for the service, which is provided by the Maui Police Department, American Medical Response, Safe Community of Maui, and the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition.  For a schedule of checkup events, go to www.kipchawaii.org and click on Event Calendar.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009; placeholder/file  image courtesy state Department of Transportation)

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