The importance of properly-installed car seats for children

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Posted at 10:07 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 00:09:48-04

HELENA — Car seats can be the bane of existence for many new parents, but they can make all the difference in the case of an accident.

“No one ever plans to be in a crash. And the last thing that you want to have happen is for your child to get injured or to have some fatal injuries. So, we want to make sure that our youngest, most vulnerable travelers are riding as safe as possible,” says Tri-County Buckle Up Montana Coordinator, Tracie Kiesel.

According to the CDC, car seats reduce the risk of injury for children in a crash by at least 71%, when compared to seat belt use alone.

Helena PD in partnership with Tri-County Buckle Up Montana and Montana Child Passenger Safety Team took some time on Thursday afternoon to help parents properly install car seats, convertible car seats, booster seats, and infant seats.

“The best way to set up your car seat is to follow all manufacturers’ instructions and any vehicles, specific vehicle instructions, as well,” says Kiesel.

Properly installing and using a car seat and booster seat is not only essential to the safety of your child, it’s also the law. Montana law requires all children up to 6 years old and up to 60 pounds to be secured in a car seat or booster seat. And while it may be difficult to put it in correctly, proper installation is critical, says Sergeant Domingo Zapata, one of HPD’s Child Passenger Safety technicians.

“Safety is paramount. The only way that we’re ensuring that everyone is as safe as possible is to make sure that the car seats are installed safely and that people, occupants of the vehicles, are using their safe restraints accurately and as safe as possible,” says Zapata.

For those who couldn’t make the checkup on Thursday, Helena PD has four car seat passenger technicians who can meet by appointment. You can reach them at 406-457-8581.