Car Seat Inspections

Category: News
Published on 10 February 2014
Written by Ted Fessides

Car Seat 

FAQ 

 1. Why are car seats such a big deal?

Motor Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of three and thirteen. Most of these deaths and even greater numbers of significant injuries can be prevented or lessened by proper car seat use.

2. Why should I have my child’s car seat checked?

Around 90% of car seats are either installed incorrectly or misused in some way. Each car seat has unique features and each car is slightly different so having a certified technician there to inspect the installation and use will help you avoid mistakes.

3. Will you just install the car seat for me?

Car seat checks are not an installation service. A car seat check is a cooperative learning experience. The technician will spend around half an hour with you per car seat. During that time, you both will go over and correct any problems with how the car seat was installed or any problems observed in the use of the car seat. The technician will work with you to make sure you know how to use your car seat correctly to keep your child as safe as possible.

4. Can the police pull me over if they think my kid is not in a car seat?

Car seat laws differ from state to state but the Pennsylvania law is a primary offense law which means that YES they can pull you over for no other reason than they think that your child is not restrained properly.

5. When can my child stop using a car seat?

There are two answers to that question.

By Pennsylvania law, they must be 8yrs of age to only be in a seatbelt/ booster seat, but most 8yr-olds are much too small to fit in the regular seatbelt that is designed to hold full-grown adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that children stay in at least a booster seat until they are the appropriate size to fit the adult seatbelt. This usually happens somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age and the child height is 4’9” or taller depending on each vehicle.

6. When can I turn my baby around, so he/she is forward-facing?

By Pennsylvania law, you must keep your child rear-facing until two years of age, but the best practice recommended by car seat technicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics is you should keep the child rear-facing as long as possible according to your child’s car seat’s weight and height limits.

7. My child’s feet are touching the vehicle seat should I turn him/her around?

Your child’s head and spine are more protected while the child is rear-facing. The child’s feet are allowed to touch the vehicle seat, or the child can sit knees bent or with crossed legs. Turning a child around to soon can put them at risk of serious injury or death. The longer a child can stay rear-facing them more their bone structure can mature. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the child rear-facing until the maximum weight or height is met in the rear-facing mode. There are some children riding rear-facing at ages 3yrs to 4yrs old. Never exceed the car seat manufacturer's limits.

8. How tight does my child harness have to be?

Harnesses needs to be flat, not twisted and snug but not so tight you leave marks on the child. Most manufacturers recommend using the pinch test.

9. How much does a car seat check cost?

It is a free service.

In many cases, children are either not properly buckled into their safety seats or parents don’t realize that a booster seat is vital to ensuring children fit safely in their vehicle’s seat belt. Don’t take a chance. Have your child’s safety seat inspected! We perform Car Seat Checks every Tuesday and Thursday between 10 AM and 2 PM. Each appointment takes about a half-hour. To schedule an appointment to check your car seats and boosters, please contact 724-776-4480 ext. 1911 or email safekids@cranberryambulance.org for more info.