EUGENE, Ore. - Michelle Mitchell is a mother from Eugene who said a properly installed car seat helped save her daughter's life.
"We had an accident where our car was totaled," Mitchell said. "She had no bruises or anything, she was perfect."
Mitchell said if she hadn't attended a safety clinic to make sure the seat was snug, she doesn't know what could have happened.
"If you're a new mom you don't know how tight it's supposed to be and a lot of them are installed improperly," Mitchell said.
Authorities around the country are stepping up enforcement as part of National Child Seat Safety Week.
Safety inspectors are checking child seats across the country and making sure children are properly secured.
In the state of Oregon, the failure to properly restrain kids resulted in the deaths of 4 children ages 4 to 8. There were 430 injuries in 2010.
Deputy Sheriff David Silano with the Lane County Sheriff's Office said the most common mistake is not tightening the seat enough.
"At the belt path, whether it's a forward facing or a rear facing seat, wherever the belts going through the seat, you don't want to move more than an inch from side to side," Silano said. "You don't want to be able to pinch those harness straps together, if can do that then they're too lose," Silano said.
Silano said tougher seat belt laws and installation clinics are helping parents properly secure their children.
While parents can face fines starting at $142 for not securing their child, authorities said there are even worse consequences.
"Children can be put in wheel chairs for the rest of their lives just like adults can," Silano said. "Their bodies aren't developed, their bone structure is not as solid as adults, they're more susceptible to injury. That's why they ride in car seats and we don't."
Authorities want to remind parents that every car and every car seat is different. Be sure to follow the directions that come with your seat.