Letter to the Editor: February 26, 2014


To the Editor: Children safety in vehicles
As parents, grandparents, or childcare providers, we have the great responsibility of doing everything we can to keep our children safe. When they are riding in a vehicle, the best and most effective way to protect them in the event of a crash is to have them in the correct restraint system.
Minnesota law requires children age seven and under to ride in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless the child is four feet nine inches, or taller. I know of a number of instances where children were not injured in fairly serious crashes because they were in their car seats.
A basic thing to remember is the car seat should be secured tightly in the back seat of your vehicle, making sure to follow the manufacturer's installation directions. The car seat needs to be secured tightly in the vehicle and should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path. 
The other important component is the proper position of the harness on your child. In rear-facing seats, harness straps should lie flat, and be placed through the slot that is at or below your child's shoulders. In forward-facing seats harness straps should lie flat, and be placed through the slot that is at or above your child's shoulders. When you buckle the harness, it is snug enough when extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulder. And be sure the chest clip is at armpit level.
There are inspections sites around the state where you can have you child's car seat checked to ensure it is proper and safe. Wright County provides this service at the Human Services Commercial Drive location. To make an appointment call 763-682-7717. Let's do all we can to keep our children safe when they're our precious little passengers.
Christine Husom,
Safe Communities of Wright County Board Member