Minot Fire Department offers car seat safety checks

Andrea Johnson/MDN Minot Fire Inspector Dana Summers checks to see that a car seat, with 2 ½-month-old Jett Neshem safely secured inside it, is correctly installed in Kayla Neshem’s car as Neshem looks on.

Kayla Neshem, a fourth-grade teacher from Berthold, wanted to make extra sure that she had installed her baby’s car seat correctly.

“I hope I have,” she said Thursday as Minot Fire Inspector Dana Summers checked the tightness of the straps on the seat with her 2 ½-month old son, Jett, still secured inside it. “I’ve watched lots of YouTube videos.”

SafeKids Minot and the Minot Fire Department offer the free car seat safety checks twice a month at Minot Fire Department No. 1, located at 211 10th St. SW. The checks are done by appointment only. People can call 857-7300 to schedule an appointment.

Amber Emerson, Safe Kids coordinator for Trinity Health, said the inspectors are checking to make sure that a car seat is the right size for a child’s height and weight, is facing the right direction, and has been correctly installed in the back seat of a vehicle. For instance, the best practice is for a child to ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 40 pounds and, for some car seats, 50 pounds.

“Four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly,” said Emerson.

Parents, grandparents and others who must transport children often come to a car seat safety check. Many people have trouble getting it just right.

“It’s an art,” said Emerson. “There are things changing all the time.”

The next free Car Seat Safety Check will be held on June 3.


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