MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Keeping children safe on our roads is extremely important, no matter what time of year you hit the road. That’s why Safe Kids Minot hosts car seat check-ups twice a month at Minot Fire Station One to make sure they are installed properly.

In 2022, Safe Kids Minot checked 75 car seats from 65 families in their efforts to help kids stay safe in their cars. Leaders from the organization say that parents tend to skip steps when assembling a car seat, or not reading manuals from front to back. As a result of these mishaps, four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly — which can cause problems in the event of a vehicle crash.

Emerson says motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of injury at Trinity Health — and that in winter months, it’s important to not have bulky items, like snowsuits, between the child and the car seat.

“Making sure that child is in a thin layer, then putting blankets over them once they are properly put into the car seat tight enough is really important,” explains Trinity Health’s Safe Kids Coordinator Amber Emerson, “because that child needs to be able to stay in that car seat. If they have bulky clothing on, they actually can get ejected from that car seat because those straps can’t get tight enough.”

The car seat check service is free, and available for anyone who needs it. In order to learn more about child passenger safety in North Dakota, visit this page on Vision Zero’s website.