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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Looking out for the little ones

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sgt. Dennis Camp with the Monett Police Department conducts an educational National Child Safety Week check at Monett Elementary School on Wednesday morning. [Times Photo by Lisa Schlichtman]
When parents arrived at Monett Elementary School to drop off their children for the start of the school day on Wednesday, they were greeted by three Monett police officers.

The officers were there as part of an educational enforcement campaign conducted in conjunction with Child Passenger Safety Week, which is recognized statewide Sept. 19 through Sept. 25.

Sergeant Dennis Camp, School Resource Officer Jerrod Jarvis and Officer Jeff Martinson took the opportunity to speak briefly with parents if a child safety violation was observed and to hand out educational material explaining Missouri's child restraint law.

"We felt that the best way to quickly educate the greatest number of parents and children was with this type of positive contact," Sgt. Camp said.

By the time classes began on Wednesday morning, Monett officers had made contact with 225 parents and 55 warnings for observed child safety seat violations were issued.

"We were pleased with the response from parents and with the low number of warnings that were given," said Sgt. Camp.

Missouri law requires that a child be secured in vehicles under the following guidelines:

* Children age 8 or older or who weigh at least 80 pounds or are at least 4'9" tall are required to be secured by a safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.

* Children ages 4 through 7 who weigh at least 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4'9" tall.

* Children less than 4 or less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat per manufacturer's instructions of the child restraint.

"It is so important for parents and caregivers to understand the importance of using child restraints," said Officer Jarvis. "It is not just about following the law. Child restraints help prevent serious injury and may even save your child's life."

Funding for the Monett child passenger safety campaign was made possible through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Division in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Missouri Safety Center.

For more information on child safety seat use, visit www.saveMOlives.com.

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