This is National Child Passenger Safety Week as proclaimed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the time of year when parents of children are urged to be sure their young passengers are buckled up and in the correct car seat for their age and size.

To that end, you will likely see a new series of public service ads running this week on traditional and social media. NHTSA will hold a Twitter chat on the topic Tuesday.

In Minnesota, all children under age 8 must ride in a federally approved car seat or booster seat unless the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children ages 1 to 13. That's why it's so important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car, the NHTSA says. Yet, nearly six in 10 car seats are used incorrectly. A 2015 national survey on the use of booster seats showed that 37 percent of children ages 4 to 7 were improperly restrained.

Failure to properly restrain a child can lead to a $50 fine.

That's why NHTSA and other traffic safety organizations are calling attention to the issue this week.

The week will end with National Seat Check Saturday. Certified child passenger safety technicians at car seat events nationwide providing safety tips and free car seat installation instructions to parents and caregivers. To find events in Minnesota, click here.

In a related event, AAA Minnesota-Iowa will collect and recycle damaged, recalled or expired infant and child car seats at nine locations. Members and non-members can drop off seats between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday at :

  • AAA Burnsville, 600 West Travelers Trail, Burnsville
  • AAA Duluth, 2520 Maple Grove Road, Duluth
  • AAA Mankato, 1930 Adams Street, Mankato
  • AAA Rochester, 1535 Greenview Drive SW, Rochester
  • AAA St. Cloud, 3959 ‐ 2nd Street So., Suite 210, St. Cloud
  • Webb Insurance Agency, 103 Marty Drive #201, Buffalo
  • Elk Agency Inc., 327 Main Street NW, Elk River
  • North Metro Insurance Agency, 255 Highway 97, Unit 3b, Forest Lake
  • Demma Agency, 10035 City Walk Dr, Ste E, Woodbury

A $5 donation per seat is requested to help cover disposal and transportation costs.

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