Getting a Car Seat Check

Car seats are obviously something that every parent needs to have when their kids are in the car. Car seats are vital in a crash to protect kids. Yet, there are estimates that well over HALF of car seats are installed incorrectly. User error is almost always in play when a car seat fails to do its job.

Parents, especially new parents, are often overwhelmed, overtired, and nervous about all the changes coming their way. They want to do everything correctly, but they aren't always sure that they are capable! Or, they think that they're right, so they don't look any further for confirmation.

When we were installing our very first car seat, the phrase that got bantered about online was "you HAVE to get the seat inspected to make sure you did it right!" While that's great advice, I had no idea where to go. When I asked these random online groups, the answer was "oh, any police or fire station. Just stop by and they'll do it".

Yeah, that's not always the case. The fire stations in our town don't do them, as they don't have any certified car seat technicians there. The police station does...on one Saturday a month, by appointment. How did I know? Because I dropped by our local fire station, thinking it was an easy thing to check off my list when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I had no idea it would be a process that would involve making numerous phone calls to numerous police stations, finally stumbling into an event that was booked solid and forty five minutes away. Had I not burst into tears on the phone and was fortunate to be talking to someone who had a soft spot for heavily pregnant and emotional women, I don't think I would have gotten in to get it done.

Now, I recommend that you start calling as soon as you get your seat, and I direct people to nhtas.gov or seatcheck.org, where you can type in your zip code and get a list of stations around you who inspect seats, when they are available, and what you have to do to get an appointment. You may luck into an easy drop in, but you may need to make an appointment for a month out. Either way, once you know how to do it, it is a great way to give yourself some peace of mind!
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