A free car seat checkup will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the OnTRAC Learning Center Parking Lot, 1501 5th St. NE, Jamestown. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand to answer questions and assist parents and caregivers in proper use and installation of their car seats. The checkup is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Health and Central Valley Health District.

“Most parents are trying to protect their children by using car seats, but car seat use can be confusing, which can lead to misuse and possible injury to a child in a crash,” said Shannon Kaiser, director of health promotion for Central Valley Health District. According to the North Dakota Department of Health, four out of five car seats checked in North Dakota had at least one error in use, with some having multiple errors.

During the checkup, car seats will be checked to be sure they are appropriate for the child who is riding in them and that the seats are not recalled or expired. Technicians will assist families with installation of the seat, using either the LATCH system or the seat belt. Guidance will be given on how to correctly secure the child in the car seat, including how tight the harness should be, which harness slots should be used and correct positioning of the harness clip.

Each car seat check will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Parents should bring the car seat instructions and their vehicle owner’s manual. Although not necessary, it helps to have the child present, so he/she can be fitted to the seat.

“I encourage parents, grandparents and others to take advantage of this opportunity," said Kaiser, who is a certified technician. "Don’t wait to have a crash to find out that your car seat was being used incorrectly. Parents are often surprised to learn they were doing something wrong with their car seat, but they are so appreciative when they leave the checkup, knowing their child is riding safer.”

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Appointments are required for the checkup event. Contact Kaiser at Central Valley Health at 701-252-8130 to schedule an appointment.