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MOTOR VEHICLE accidents are the No. 1 killer of children 1 to 14, and more than half those deaths result from not using a car seat or seat belt, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To make sure the seat is properly buckled, review instructions for the seat and vehicle. For a free inspection, call (727) 892-5437 in Pinellas County or go to for listings by county.

Additional safety guidelines include:

+ Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat, reducing the risk of death in a collision by one-third.

+ Children need a car seat until they reach 40 pounds and a booster seat until a seat belt fits, typically ages 4 to 8, or if they reach a height of 4 feet 9.

+ Never place a rear-facing car seat in a front seat that has a passenger-side air bag.

+ Current car seats pass government safety standards, so pick one that fits your vehicle, your budget and your patience.

+ Avoid used car seats, particularly those 6 years old or more.

+ Wear seat belts.

MASSAGE THERAPISTS and volunteers are being recruited for a two-day event in Gulfport for breast cancer survivors.

"Love Thy Wholeness" will offer free massages to women with breast cancer who are enrolled in the Mammography Voucher Program, a screening and referral service for women in Pinellas County without health insurance or financial resources. Those women can receive a free massage from 10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 22 or 1 to 4:30 p.m. March 23 at the Gulfport Healing Arts Center, 2825 Beach Blvd. S.

(The voucher program last year screened more than 900 women in Pinellas County, diagnosing breast cancer and arranging treatment for 18.)

A massage shows the women that someone cares, says organizer and massage therapist Evelyn Tosi. For information or to volunteer time or products, call Tosi at (727) 644-8705.

MORE AMERICANS are worried about health care costs than about losing their job, paying their mortgage or being the victim of a terrorist attack, according to the latest poll by Kaiser Health Poll Report.

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans say they are "very worried" that what they pay for health care or health insurance will increase over the next six months and that their income will not keep up. By comparison, half as many people said they were very worried about losing their job.

About 1 in 4 worried about being able to afford prescription drugs over the next six months.

_ Staff writer SUSAN ASCHOFF and Times wires