RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — AAA and the Richmond Ambulance Authority are reminding parents to check their children’s car seats before hitting the road this holiday season.

The organizations said safety seats need to fit properly in order to be effective. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats were being misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. 

The announcement said children can outgrow their seats quickly, and as their bodies change their seats need to as well.

“Car seats are made to grow  with a child as their height and weight changes,” said Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic “Because of all the disruptions this year, parents and guardians may not have been as focused on checking those seats.”

AAA and RAA said families planning to travel for the holidays need to check their child safety seats and make adjustments before going on their journey.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and we cannot stress enough how important a correctly fitted car seat is, especially this year when you may not be inspecting your child’s seat as often,” said Becky Jamison, RAA’s lead Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician. “It is critical to your child’s safety to make sure their car seat is installed correctly before any trip, no matter how far you plan to go.“

Richmond residents can can schedule a free inspection of the child’s car seat at RAA’s headquarters. You can find more information and schedule the inspection here.

People who live outside of the city of Richmond can visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website to find a Safety Seat Check Station close to them.