February is Car Seat Safety Month

February is child passenger safety month in North Dakota. Throughout the year, there are ways you can ensure your little ones are strapped in safely. 

There’s a lot of ways to make sure you’re keeping the kids as safe as possible in your car. Taking off the big puffy coats before you strap your children into the car seat, making sure your car seat isn’t expired, but first, we’ll focus in on installing your car seat properly.

Each month, you can sign up for a free car seat safety check through Custer Health in the Bismarck-Mandan area. When each car and car seat have different installations, turning to professionals can be a big help

Jessica Linneman; certified passenger safety technician: “Some of the most common mistakes we see with car seat installation is the car seat is loose in the vehicle.”

For parents and grandparents, it offers peace of mind.

Julie Gauerke; Mom: “Yeah there’s a lot that goes into it. Like if you use the latch system or the seat belt, and knowing just how tight everything should be. So there’s just a lot to know.”

Shelle Aberle; Grandma: “In any car accident, just the smallest jud, these little children, their brains can be scrambled pretty quickly.”

In passenger cars, correctly used car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for an infant.

Jessica Linneman; certified passenger safety technician: 
“If you don’t use certain features on your car, like the tether in a forward facing car seat, it can increase the risk of your child’s head and neck injuries.”

Linneman says a proper car seat installation usually takes 20 minutes.. and is well worth the time.

Almost 8 out of 10 North Dakotans use car seats wrong. The ND DOT has plenty of helpful tips that parents may not know, like not to use car seat accessories unless they came with the car seat. They can cause harm to a child in a crash as they have not been crash tested.

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