Babies don’t come with an instruction manual—but car seats sure do, and even then, we, as parents, still question whether we are using the right type of car seat (infant seat, convertible car seat, booster, high-back booster?) and installing it correctly (rear-facing, forward-facing, back seat, front seat?).
If you too have had these questions, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are professionals to turn to when you have questions about car seat installation and need some guidance.
Parenting Now’s Car Seat Clinics provide parents an opportunity to meet with a Certified Car Seat Technician to have their car seat and its installation inspected. “Proper car seat installation is key to a child’s safety in a vehicle,” says Heather Gray, Parenting Now’s Car Seat Program Coordinator. “As parents, we aren’t expected to know everything, so let a professional guide you through keeping your child safe in the car.”
What you can expect at a car seat inspection
Car seat inspections generally last 30-45 minutes. During this time, you will learn about proper installation, key tips and tricks for car seat installation, how to properly use a car seat, and leave with an understanding of what the next step is.
In general, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises parents to keep children rear-facing as long as possible. Rear-facing in the backseat is the safest place for your infant and toddler to be. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.
What to bring
There are a few things that you will want to bring to your car seat appointment. Drive in the vehicle your child will mostly be riding in; the car seat you will be using (if you have one); and the child that will be riding in the vehicle. If the child cannot be present during the car seat appointment, bring note of their height, weight, and age. If possible, also bring along your car’s manual and/or knowledge of the make, model, and year of the vehicle.
How to make an appointment
Parenting Now is currently offering in-person car seat inspections by appointment only at our office at 86 Centennial Loop in Eugene. Virtual appointments over Zoom are also available. “It is never too early or too late to have your car seat and its installation inspected,” says Gray. “Whether you are expecting or have a 4-year old, we are happy to answer your questions and ensure that your children are safely secured in their car seats.”
Send your questions and car seat appointment requests to Heather at email@example.com.