It's a proven fact that most crashes occur close to home on roads with low speed limits.

When used correctly, car seats can prevent injuries and save lives, as demonstrated during a free car seat check up in Palmerton.

Sponsored by Carbon County Safe Kids and the Palmerton Community Ambulance, the Car Seat Check Up was held Wednesday at the Palmerton Ambulance building.

Families who attended the event had their car seats examined by a safety specialist for proper installation, age/size appropriateness, and to see if it has been recalled or visibly damaged.

As part of the check ups, parents brought their children and their child's car seat to the ambulance garage, where a trained safety specialist checked the car seat to make sure it is installed properly, is the right size for the child; and didn't have any safety recalls posted for that model or any visible damages to it.

Melissa Hunsicker of Lehighton, who brought along her 25-day-old son, Braylon, said the program is an important function.

"I had to come out and see this," Hunsicker said. "Being a first-time parent, I wanted to see about keeping my baby safe."

That's exactly what the program sought to accomplish, according to Shannon Yorke, trooper for the Pennsylvania State Police.

Yorke said the program was in conjunction with the Click-It-Or-Tick-It program.

"Nine out of 10 times, people are doing something wrong with their seat," said Yorke, who added that in some instances, the problem is that the seats may not be installed properly. "We teach them and show them how to do it the right way, because if it's not in properly, it can cause an injury or possibly death."

Yorke said the state police barracks also hold monthly fitting stations, which can be viewed at www.psp.state.pa.us.