Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and injury to children. Seat belts increase the chance of surviving a crash by nearly 45 percent. Child safety seats, when properly installed, reduce the risk of death by 69 percent for infants and 47 percent for toddlers.
Take advantage of these local resources to learn how to correctly install your car seat.
Kalispell Regional Medical Center
Labor and Delivery: We have six child passenger safety certified nurses to assist you during your visit.
Kalispell Fire Department
312 1st Ave E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Flathead City-County Health Department
1035 1st Ave W
Kalispell, MT 59901
Up-to-date car seat safety information for parents:
How to find the right car seat:
Car seat safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide:
Child passenger information and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on car seats:
Safety laws in Montana:
Top Car Seat Safety Tips
- Inch test: Once your car seat is installed, give it a good tug at the base where the seat belt goes through it. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
- Pinch test: Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check your car seat manual). With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child's shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you're good to go.
- For both rear- and forward-facing child safety seats, use either the car's seat belt or latch system to lock the car seat in place. Don't use both at the same time.
- Toys can injure your child in a crash, so be extra careful to choose the ones that are soft and will not hurt your baby. A small, loose toy can be dangerous and injure your baby in a crash. Secure loose objects and toys to protect everyone in the car.
- Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it's appropriate for your child's age, weight and height. Your car seat has an expiration date – usually around six years. Find and check the label to make sure it's still safe.
- Buy a used car seat only if you know its full crash history. That means you must buy it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the internet. Once a car seat has been in a crash, it needs to be replaced.