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      How important is your child's safety in a car?

      It's Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week, and local officials are making sure parents know how to properly protect their little ones.

      In a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study released in 2009, 1,314 children 14 and younger in the United States died as occupants in crashes, and around 179,000 were injured.

      In the State of Michigan, children need to be properly secured in a child restraint system who are between the ages of 4 and 8 years old and are less than 4'9" tall. Infants should be placed rear facing until 24 months old.

      Car seats need to be used until the child is four years old, then they can switch to a booster seat. The safest spot in a vehicle for children of all ages is in the middle back seat.

      "When you put a child in a vehicle in just a lap shoulder belt when they're so light, it's like trying to restrain a feather. They have a greater chance of receiving injury and death if they're not restrained properly," said health educator Diane Curry.

      It's also recommended to keep them restrained in a harness belt.

      If you want to get your car seat checked, you can stop by Newberry Motors in Newberry on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.