Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death for infants and children.

When you are looking for and installing a car seat, please take some time to educate yourself and to make sure that it is done correctly. A few extra minutes could mean that injury is reduced or a life is saved.

As a CPST (Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician) I educate my clients on how to safely transport their infants and children in the car. I also teach them how to correctly choose and install a car seat.

Here are 5 things you can do at home:

Right Seat – check to see that you have the right seat for your child based on age, weight, height, and personal needs. See if your seat has been recalled or is expired.

Right Place – the safest place for children to ride is in the back seat. Install your seat in the correct location taking into consideration all factors, such as air bags and other car seats or passengers.

Right Direction – Illinois has a new law that states that all children under 2 years old must be rear facing. The best practice is to keep your child rear facing until they outgrown the car seat in that direction. You can then move them to another car seat or forward face the seat you have, if applicable.

Inch Test – check the installation of the car seat by moving the seat at the belt path. It should move no more than 1” side-to-side and front-to-back. Use the installation method that meets the weight requirements of your child and gives you the best fit.

Pinch Test – once your child is harnessed in the car seat, buckled tightly with the chest clip at armpit level, pinch the strap at the child’s shoulder. If you cannot pinch any material between your fingers, the child is harnessed correctly.

It’s a good idea to have your car seats checked periodically, or if they have been removed and reinstalled, or when you purchase a new seat.

If you ever have any questions, seek out a Certified CPST.

You can find local techs here:

  Local CPST

You can also call your local fire department or police department – they often have staff that have been certified.

Or give me a call and we’ll schedule an in person check at your house.

Click here to set up an appointment:

contact

Take some time this week to give your car seat a home check. It will be a few minutes well spent!

Find more information about car seat safety at: NHSTA  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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