Wondering if their child is buckled in the correct car seat is a common question asked by many parents and caregivers.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) encourage caregivers to learn about current best practices for child passenger safety during Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week.  

The NDDoH collects data from car seat checkups completed in the state to help focus education efforts to caregivers who transport young children. Of the car seats checked in 2019, 70% had some form of misuse.

“One of your top priorities as a parent is keeping your child safe,” said Dawn Mayer, NDDoH Child Passenger Safety Program Director. “Following best practices and making sure your child is in the correct seat are proven ways to decrease motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries.”   

During CPS week, parents and caregivers are encouraged to educate themselves on these best practices:

•Don’t rush the four steps to child passenger safety. Make sure children are properly buckled in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt – whichever is appropriate for their weight, height and age. Every step towards the seat belt offers a little less protection for the child.

•The back seat is safer than the front seat. Transport children younger than 13 years of age in the back seat or second row of the vehicle.

•When using a forward-facing car seat, remember to use the tether strap. In a crash, the tether keeps the top of a forward-facing car seat from being thrown forward, preventing serious head and neck injuries.

•When using the lower anchors and tether (LATCH) system in the vehicle, do not exceed the vehicle’s maximum anchor weight load limits listed on the car seat sticker or in the manufacturer’s instructions.

 To learn more about child passenger safety and find other ND seat checkups, visit www.health.nd.gov/north-dakota-child-passenger-safety or call 1-800-472-2286.

To find more information on Vision Zero, a ND initiative to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads, visit VisionZero.ND.gov.

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