HELENA — When you’re headed out on your next family adventure or even just for a quick stop at the grocery store, don’t forget to make sure that your most precious cargo is properly secured and safe.
“Misuse with car seats is high. The rate of misuse in car seats when we do like car seat checks in the community, I would say probably over 90% of the car seats that we check are being misused in some way. And car seats are, proper car seat use will save a child's life,” says Nurse & Certified Passenger Safety Technician, Marisa Johnson.
This week from September 18-24 is Child Passenger Safety Week. This week is meant to promote safety for children in the car. To better keep children safe, parents can make sure their child is in the correct child safety seat, the seats are properly installed and used, and that seats are registered with manufacturers in order to receive any safety updates or recalls.
“We all understand that like sometimes our car seat manuals don't make sense. They kind of can be confusing. So, there are YouTube videos to help. But in the community itself, here at the health department, we have a couple of us here are certified here,” says Johnson.
Sometimes instructions on paper or through an online video can be confusing or frustrating. When those methods fail, Lewis and Clark Public Health have specialists available to help you fit your car seat appropriately. The website safekids.org can give you details on where inspection stations are and can offer other helpful information. Additionally, Johnson says that car seats actually have an expiration date, so it’s important for parents to check that, as well.
“It's okay if you're not sure how to use the car seat. Some of them aren't user-friendly and that's why, so feel free to reach out. Even if you think you're doing it right, it never hurts to have somebody take a second look at it to make sure,” says Johnson.