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KidsDay includes free child safety seat checkup Saturday

Hill County Safe Kids/Safe Communities and Montana Safe Kids will conduct a free child safety seat checkup at the Havre Fire Department on Saturday.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of National KidsDay activities. People are encouraged to call 265-6206, ext. 305, in advance to schedule an appointment to help shorten any waiting time. People who call after-hours should leave a message with their names and phone numbers.

Child safety restraints will be inspected and checked against recall lists. Parents will be shown how to install them properly and tightly.

Parents and guardians will be reminded of a new child safety restraint law that will take effect in Montana on Oct. 1 and will be advised about proper restraints for children under 6 and 60 pounds. The new law states that children up to 6 years of age and 60 pounds must be in a "child safety restraint." That means that once kids outgrow their safety seats at 40 pounds, they will need a booster seat.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates than less than 10 percent of children who should be restrained in booster seats ride in one.

The four steps for child restraint seats are:

Rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year old and 20 pounds.

Forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age 1 to about age 4 and 20 to 40 pounds.

Booster seats in the back seat from about age 4 and 40 pounds to at least age 8, unless the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Safety belts at age 8 or older or taller than 4 feet 9 inches. All children 12 and under should ride in the back seat.

Older vehicles sometimes have different abilities so it is always wise to have a certified technician inspect child safety restraints.

A limited number of child safety seats will be available for purchase at reduced prices.

Parents are reminded that children under 12 are safest in the back seat. A rear-facing infant seat must never be placed in the front seat with an air bag.

For more information about seat belts, child safety seats and booster seats, and other passenger safety topics, contact Hill County Safe Kids/Safe Communities Coalition at the HELP Committee office, 265-6206.


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