Norwich Township's free "Car Seat Safety Checks" have moved from the first and third Thursdays to the first and third Fridays in 2012.

Norwich Township's free "Car Seat Safety Checks" have moved from the first and third Thursdays to the first and third Fridays in 2012.

The twice-monthly service will next be held on Feb. 3 and Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Department Station 81, 5181 Northwest Pkwy.

Ron Phillips, a nationally certified child-passenger safety instructor, will inspect the seats. Ann Roderer, health educator and program planner for the Columbus Public Health Department (CPH), said Phillips started the program in 1980s for the agency. He is retired from CPH, but contracts with the township, she said.

Car seats are one of the most important safety issues parents will face.

"The national misuse rate for car seats is 91 percent," Roderer said. "There are usually two errors per car seat use, whether it is installation or the harness is not snug."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics' "healthy children" website, www.healthychildren.org, children ages 2 and younger should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat in the back seat. If a child is 2 or older, they can ride in a forward-facing car safety seat in the back seat until they have reached the seat's weight or height limit. At that point, they can use a booster seat in the back seat. When they are between 8 and 12 years of age or 4'9" in height, the back seat's belt may fit the child properly.

The safety checks are popular, Roderer said.

"I know that they are busy. I'm pretty sure they're booked every time he does it."

In addition to making sure the seat is installed correctly, Phillips can check to see if there's a recall on the car seat. If so, a repair kit or another seat can be sent.

To make a 30-minute appointment (to check one car seat), call the Norwich Township Fire Department at (614) 876-7694.