A recent report shows Arizona ranked 46th in the country in terms of the well-being of its children. But the Casey Foundation noted improvements in the number of child and teen deaths. Use of child safety seats in cars may be a factor, one child advocate says. Arizona also has a new booster seat law that requires children up to 8 years to use a safety seat in a car. Current law requires it for children up to age 5.

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Two events this weekend will make kids in Ahwatukee Foothills a little safer.

On Friday AZ Insurance Team, 430 W. Warner Road in Tempe, will be hosting a family-fun event with free car seat checks. On Saturday, the Phoenix Police Department will be hosting an event with free car seat checks, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching, shredding and children’s fingerprinting in the Target parking lot, at 4802 E. Ray Road.

Charlotte Burr, co-owner of AZ Insurance Team, said she tries to provide her clients with more than an insurance policy. That’s why she decided to go through the Safe Kids Worldwide training to learn how to properly install car seats.

“They put you through the ringer with this training,” Burr said. “It’s 32 hours and some of it is hands on, but most of it is sitting in a classroom. When you are partially responsible for a child’s safety they want to make sure you know what you’re doing.”

Burr will be sharing her knowledge and inspecting car seats for free at their office from 4 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 15. To keep the kids busy while parents have their seats installed, AZ Insurance Team will have a bounce house and inflatable slide, free food, music, free massages, and local vendors.

Burr said she will check each car seat for an expiration date or recall before installation. She will install the seat with the parent watching and then take it out and watch as the parent installs the seat. Expect each installation to take about 20 minutes.

The Phoenix Police Department will be hosting a similar event on Nov. 16. Phoenix police officers will inspect car seats and protect children by taking down their fingerprints and creating a child identification kit.

To protect cars from being stolen, the police department will offer free VIN etching on all windows of the vehicle.

Residents can also bring documents to be shredded by Shred-it.

The police department will be collecting toys for its annual W. Steven Martin Toy Drive during the event. For more information, call Officer Sheree Lee at (602)-534-6545.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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