NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts State Police are holding a free car seat safety inspection Tuesday.

The event will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Northampton State Police Barracks located at 555 North King Street. State Police offer free car seat inspections as part of the Child Passenger Safety Equipment Grant. Certified State Police car seat technicians will be available to help provide instruction and guidance to residents on the proper installation of a car seat.

There will also be two other car seat inspection events Tuesday in Framingham and Middleborough. State Police have been hosting free car seat installations every week and will continue to hold them through September 28.

Residents that are unable to attend during those hours can also make an appointment for an installation or inspection by calling the MSP Traffic Programs Section at 774-462-3766 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Car Seat Safety:

  • Make sure to check the labels and owner manual to see if the car seat is the right size for your child.
  • Car seats have expiration dates. Check the manufacturer date on the seat label.
  • Keep rear-facing seats as long as possible until your child outgrows the weight and height limits, which usually occurs around age 2 or older.
  • Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level and the harness straps are secured on the shoulders.
  • Store away loose items in the vehicle.
  • Do the pinch test: Pinch the straps vertically at the collarbone. If you can grab excess slack between your fingers and pinch it, the straps are too loose. 
  • Use a top tether in the installation of a forward facing car seat.
  • Make sure the car seat does not move more than 1 inch an any direction when shaken where the belt and anchors hold the seat.
  • When your child outgrows a harness car seat, usually around 5 or older, use a booster seat until they are taller than 57 inches.
  • Keep kids in the back seat until 13 years old.