• Safe Sound. KARS stands for
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  • KARS: Kids Always Ride Safely

    KARS is a car seat education program AND a low cost car seat option designed to carry your children through their car seat/booster seat years.

    The program is offered to families (including WIC families) residing Houghton and Keweenaw Counties. It's mission is to ensure all children in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties have safe, age-appropriate car seats or boosters seats.

  • KARS Program for WIC Families

    0-3 Months OR up to 15 lbs.

    Eligible car seat: Infant car seat

    Cost: $15

    • If you are pregnant, you are eligible to make a payment for a KARS education session once you are in your third trimester.
    • Your infant should remain in this “rear facing” car seat until he/she is approximately 20 lbs.
    • This program allows the purchase of one (1) infant car seat per child.
    • You will be eligible to make a payment for another KARS education session where your child will be evaluated for a convertible car seat when your child outgrows (either by weight, or height) the KARS infant car seat.
    • Children who enroll in the KARS Program as infants (younger than 4 months), and remain enrolled in the Western U.P. WIC Program, are eligible for the following progression of car seats: Infant → Convertible → Booster.

    4-24 months OR 16-29 lbs.

    Eligible car seat: Combination car seat

    Cost: $15

    24 months through 4 years OR 30-40 lbs

    Eligible car seat: Convertible car seat

    Cost: $15

    • This car seat is a “forward facing only” seat which will convert to a Booster Seat. We recommend that your child stay in the harness system of this car seat until he/she has reached the maximum weight limit (usually 50 lbs.). At that time, remove the harness system and convert this car seat to a booster seat.
    • This program allows the purchase of one (1) combination car seat per child.
    • NOTE: Since this car seat converts to a booster seat, this is the only seat your child is eligible for through this program.

    4 yrs and older OR 41 lbs. through 4’9”

    Eligible car seat: Booster seat

    Cost: $5

    • Michigan law states children must be secured in a car seat or a booster seat up to age 8 or up to 4’9” (whichever occurs first).
    • The KARS Program CPS Technicians believe children should remain in a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall. (Example: Your daughter is 8 yrs old and 4’7”. We would recommend she remain in a booster seat until she is 4’9”.)
    • This program allows the purchase of one (1) booster seat per child.

    Important Information

    There may be times when the “General Guidelines” above will not provide the safest transport for you child. The CPS Technician may deviate from these guidelines to better ensure your child’s safety. The following are two examples:

    1. If your child is 4 yrs and older and weighs less than 40 lbs, a car seat with a harness system may be recommended.
    2. If your child is younger than 4 yrs old and weighs more than 40 lbs, a car seat with a higher weight harness system may be recommended.
  • KARS Program for Extended Families

    Extended Family = Any Houghton or Keweenaw County resident who transports a child.

    All participants must show proof of Houghton or Keweenaw County residency. 

    Steps to participate in the Extended Family Program:

    1. Make a payment for a KARS Extended Family Education Session at the Western U.P. Health Department. (You will receive a car seat voucher from the staff.)
    2. Schedule an appointment for a 30-40 minute KARS Extended Family Education Session with a CPS Technician
    3. Bring your child, your vehicle and voucher to the KARS Extended Family Education Session.
  • Extended Family Education Sessions

    Education Session I

    Includes an Infant Car Seat (This car seat includes a base that can be left in the vehicle for easier installation.)

    Cost: $40.00

    Who should attend: Expectant parents/grandparents or those who care for children who are newborn through 3 months.

    Education Session II

    Includes a Convertible Car Seat (This car seat can be installed either “rear facing” or “forward facing”)

    Cost: $40.00

    Who should attend: Recommended for anyone who transports:

    1. an infant who still needs to face the rear of the vehicle
    2. a toddler up to 50 lbs. who faces the front of the vehicle

    Education Session III

    Includes a Combination Car Seat (This car seat includes a harness and will convert to a High Back Booster Seat)

    Cost: $40.00

    Who should attend: Those transporting children who are now able to face forward (Children should be a minimum of 24 months old and at least 20 lbs.) The car seat you learn about (and receive) in this session will convert to a booster seat.

    Education Session IV

    Includes a Booster Seat

    Cost: $15.00

    Who should attend: Those who transport a child 4 years old and over 40 lbs.

  •  What to Expect at a KARS Education Session

    • Upon arrival, present your car seat voucher to the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician.
    • You will be required to fill out a car seat check form.
    • The CPS technician will use this form to evaluate your child’s transportation needs.
    • The technician will select a car seat that most appropriately fits your child and your vehicle.
    • You will be instructed on how to install this car seat.
    • Prior to leaving the session, you will demonstrate how to safely install your child’s new car seat.
  • Paying for the KARS program

    All payments must be made at the Western U.P. Health Department.

    540 Depot St.
    Hancock, MI 49930

    906-482-7382

    Cash or check accepted.
    Make checks payable to: WUPHD 

  • Participating CPS Technicians

    Make an appointment for a KARS Education Session with any of the following Houghton and Keweenaw County certified CPS Technicians:

    Portage Health
    500 Campus Dr., Hancock
    Judy Pruner or Katie Brewster: 906-483-1395

    BHK Child Development
    700 Park Ave., Houghton
    Beth Anderson: 906-487-6600, ext 140

    MTU Public Safety & Police Services
    206 MacInnes Dr., Houghton
    Officer Marc Geborkoff: 906-487-2216

    Aspirus Keweenaw
    205 Osceola St, Laurium
    Jan List: 906-337-6528

  • This program is sponsored by:

    • Office of Highway Safety Planning
    • Marquette County Health Department
    • Western U.P. Health Department
    • Portage Health
    • Aspirus Keweenaw
    • BHK Child Development
    • MTU Public Safety & Police Services
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HANCOCK 

500 Campus Drive
Hancock, MI 49930
(906) 483-1000

HOUGHTON 

921 W. Sharon Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1777

Express Care 

LAKE LINDEN 

945 Ninth Street
Lake Linden, MI 49945
(906) 483-1030

ONTONAGON 

751 S. Seventh Street
Ontonagon, MI 49953
(906) 884-4120

UNIVERSITY CENTER 

600 MacInnes Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1860

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