Go to the Firehouse for a Car Seat Check. Right?
Wrong. Well, really, it depends. Sometimes you can go to the firehouse for a car seat check.
Who should you trust for your car seat safety education if not your local fire station?
The statistics in the U.S. say 3 out of 4 car seats are being used incorrectly. Now that can range from minor misuse to a misuse that can cause serious or fatal injury in a crash.
One thing we hear often is, “well I took it to my local fire department” or “I took it to my police department and one of the guys came out and checked on it.”
Not every firefighter, police officer or nurse is a certified child passenger safety technician (aka car seat tech).
I got started as a car seat technician when I was still a young recruit firefighter back in 2000. At that time it was still common for fire departments to offer the service of inspecting people’s car seats and helping them install the car seat correctly.
But not every one on the department was certified. Although our department was proactive, there are many departments across the nation that don’t have anyone on the department that is certified.
Meaning, when you show up at the firehouse for a car seat check, you may get a firefighter (or police officer or nurse, if you go to those places) whose heart is in the right place, who do what they do because they want to help people, and who wants you to feel comfortable. Maybe they have a child or two and they think they know how to correctly do a car seat.
The reality is unless you are a certified child passenger safety technician, you’re not aware of some of the nuances of different kinds of seat belt systems, different features on different car seats.
When you go to get help with your car seat make sure you go to a certified car seat technician. Then you will know you are getting the best information available.
On that note, you can’t trust your car seat safety information to your doctor either. They are a specialist in the medical field and treating a human body. They are not necessarily an expert on injury prevention or car crashes.
Sometimes when you get information from a certified child passenger safety technician you’ll realize it contradicts what other “experts” told you about keeping your kids safe in the car.
When in doubt
You can contact us and ask us a question. Safe Ride 4 Kids has a team of car seat technicians. I have actually been an instructor of the program since 2001.
We want to help you have the best information available. And if you need a local technician to do a car seat check of your seat, go here to find a car seat technician near you.
We want to know, where have you gone for a car seat check? Share your comments below.
By Greg Durocher, CEO at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Technician Instructor since 2002
Copyright 2016 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.