How to make sure your child's car seat is properly installed

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SALT LAKE CITY — With Child Passenger Safety week wrapping up, it's a good time to remind parents it's crucial that your kids are properly buckled in before you hit the road.

According to, car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids ages 1 to 13. But, proper car safety helps reduce that.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71% to 82% for children compared to seat belt use alone. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for 4- to 8-year-old children. And for older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk of death and serious injury by about half.

Michelle Jamison, community health program manager for Primary Children's Hospital, offered a few tips to check if your car seat is installed correctly.

She said to make sure that the car seat's instructions on the side of the seat show the right height and weight for your child. And keep them in it until they exceed the max height or weight limit.

"It's not about age," she said. "We want to max out that seat, every time we switch, you are losing a level of safety."

She added to make sure you buckle the chest clip at nipple level and keep it over the bone. Make sure the shoulder straps are tight and make sure your child is wearing it like a backpack. And make sure your car seat is not expired.

"Especially here in Utah — that hot and cold, it expands and contracts the plastic and makes it less safe," Jamison said.

To help ensure that your child is properly secured, Primary Children's offers free car seat checks. You can get one in person Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling and making an online appointment at 801-662-6583.

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Ayanna Likens
Ayanna Likens is an Emmy award-winning special projects reporter for KSL-TV.


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