Traffic crashes are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. Minnesota law states that all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least 8 years of age, whichever comes first. In Minnesota, three out of four child seats are used incorrectly.

Riding a bicycle without a helmet significantly increases the risk of sustaining a head injury in the event of a crash. It is estimated that one out of seven children will receive head injuries because of a bicycle crash. Wearing a helmet in the event of a crash reduces the likelihood of serious head injury by 60 percent.

The Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition is having a car seat check and bicycle helmet giveaway on Sept. 27 from 3–6 p.m. at the Ottertail Operations Center at 469 Main St. in Ottertail.

“The coalition is dedicated to keeping all road users safe. Car seat and helmet use matter,” said Leah Jesser, the Safe Communities Coalition coordinator. “One of the simplest and most important things we can do to protect our children is having and using the right safety equipment. We urge you to get your car seats checked, make sure they are installed correctly, and ensure your children wear a helmet every time they get on their bikes.”

Contact Leah Jesser at ljesser@co.ottertail.mn.us or 218-998-8320 to schedule an appointment. You may also receive a free properly fitted bicycle helmet for your children.