TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It only takes a few spare minutes to make sure your littlest passengers are safe.

On Monday at Ivy Tech, Indiana Chances and Services for Youth helped out with that.

They held a free child passenger safety program.

At the event, certified safety technicians were on site to help motorists check car seats.

They also offered tips for parents.

“You definitely wanna follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the car seat itself. Also, look at your vehicle’s owner manual because that has a lot to do with it as well. You wanna make sue the straps are tight and the placement is correct. It’s the biggest issue we see, is that things just aren’t properly fitted,” Kourtney Cochran said.

Check out a car seat checklist below:

 Right Seat. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date. Just double check the label on your car seat to make sure it is still safe.

 Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13.

 Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors. Continue to use a booster seat until your child properly fits in the seat belt, usually when they are between the ages of 8 and 12.

 Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. 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 car seat manual). Now, 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 older children, we checked the safety belt fit to ensure it properly protects them in case of a crash,” added Wheatley.” Also, children under 13 should ride in the back seat of a vehicle for enhanced safety.”

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