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Dickinson Police Department offers car seat inspections

The Dickinson Police Department will be hosting a car seat check-up.

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Dickinson Police Sgt. Matthew Hanson shows parent Stephanie Dianovics how to best secure her daughter Isabella in a car seat. The car seat safety checkups are a regular event for the Dickinson Police Department and will be sponsoring the Feb. 11 checkup at Sax Motor Co. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

Check-ups can save a life, especially when it comes to the safety of a child. The Dickinson Police Department detects that approximately 90% of car seats are being misused.

If you’re in that 90% who doesn’t know the proper way to utilize a car seat, come see the professionals from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 11 at Sax Motor Co. In partnership with the DPD, North Dakota Highway Patrol and HeadStart, Sax Motor Co. will offer expert-level check-ups. During the event, child safety technicians will instruct parents on how to properly and safely use a car seat to ensure maximum safety for children and peace of mind for parents.

“A misused car seat may result in serious injury to a child in a crash. There are many different car safety seats and many different vehicle protection systems, and they do not always work well together,” Capt. Joe Cianni said in a DPD press release.

Upon inspection, each car seat will be put to the test via a set of rigorous criteria. Each child’s car seat will be evaluated based on the following questions: “Is the car seat safe/appropriate for the age, weight and developmental level of the child? Does the car seat meet safety standards, has it been recalled and is it in good condition? How is the child secured in the car safety seat? How is the car safety seat installed in the vehicle?”

Each inspection will take only 30 minutes. To help keep inspections short, the organizers encourage parents to bring the instructions for the car seat and the owner’s manual from their vehicle. Having the child present will help the professionals conduct the inspection, but it is not necessary. Parents will also be given some free safety items upon attending the event.

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Children younger than 8 years old and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall must be secured in either a car or booster seat, according to the FAQ section of the North Dakota Highway Patrol website. Children taller than 4 feet 9 inches may use a seatbelt. If violated, drivers will pay a $25 fine and receive 1 point on their driver’s license.

A fine is nothing compared to the devastation of having an injured or deceased child. If you are unsure as to the safety of your child’s car seat, visit with an expert at Sax Motor Co., Cianni noted, it could save your child’s life.

“I encourage parents to participate in the car seat checkup… Don’t wait until you have a crash to find out that your car seat was being used incorrectly. Our children are too precious to risk their lives in preventable situations,” Cianni said.

To make an appointment, call 701-227-3010. Sax Motor Co. is located at 52 21st St. E in Dickinson.

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