The best way to keep an infant or child safe in a vehicle is with a car seat.  In fact - it's the law.  In Minnesota, all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4-feet 9-inches tall or at least age 8 - whichever comes first. In Wisconsin, children need to be in a car seat until they reach age 4 and 40 pounds and then in a booster seat until they reach age 8, more than 80 pounds in weight, or more than 4-feet 9-inches tall.

So that covers the legality of car seat use.  But what about proper installation and use practices?

For more than 21 years, the Duluth Fire Department's Life Safety Office  has been helping parents (new parents and experienced parents) figure things out.  With their Car Seat Safety Clinics, they offer free educational opportunities to ensure that child safety seats are installed properly.

Mother and child showing thumb up gesture in car seat

Duluth Fire Marshall Sandy McComb explains:

"Everyone wants to make sure that their child is safe, especially when driving.  These clinics are a great way to help parents feel confident in learning how to install a car seat properly, and to feel comfortable in knowing that their child is safe. It's really important for us as Certified Child Passenger Technicians to provide this service so that everyone can use it.  We wanted to have the clinics be located in a number of neighborhoods to make them accessible, and easy to find.  It also is one more way for new parents to feel prepared ahead of bringing their newborns home for the first time."

That effort to be as accessible as possible is why the Duluth Fire Department routinely schedules these car seat safety clinics in different neighborhoods throughout town. Usually, they're planned for four out of the eight fire departments that serve Duluth.

The first of these car seat safety clinics for 2022 has been scheduled for Saturday, January 22 at Station 2 in Lincoln Park - from 12 Noon until 2:00 PM.  To sign up for the free event, visit

Happy siblings in the car

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