This year, traffic accidents will take the lives or seriously injure more than 41,000 infants and toddlers, according to the National Safety Council.

Many of these deaths and injuries could be avoided. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that approximately 50 percent of child care safety seats are improperly installed and offer kids little protection even in a sudden stop.On Sept. 10 at the Fashion Place Mall, parents will have a chance to make their automobiles safer for their kids at the "Toyota Tender Touch," a free car seat education program sponsored by Menlove Toyota, Larry H. Miller Toyota and Wagstaff's House of Toyota.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., qualified safety seat experts from the Utah Office of Highway Safety and other safety groups will inspect infant and toddler car seats at a free drive through "check point" in the mall's parking lot. The experts will also review the points parents should look for when buying and installing car seats at a display inside the mall.

Several other features will be offered as part of the all-day program. Drawings for free safety seats will be conducted each hour, free hats and balloons will be given away and a video tape illustrating the importance of child safety restraints will be shown. In addition, the first 125 children who have their safety seats inspected for proper installation will receive a free "Tender Touch Teddy" bear.

The Utah Highway Patrol will operate "The Convincer," a sled-like vehicle that dramatically demonstrates what can happen to a person who doesn't wear a seat belt during a head-on collision.

Among the honored guests to appear at the event are the safety characters "Vince & Larry" and "10-4 the Robot Car."

Other safety groups participating in the Toyota Tender Touch include the Utah Department of Health, the Salt Lake City Health Department, Cottonwood Hospital, the Murray Police Department and the Murray Fire Department.