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Would you, or do you plan on having your car seat inspected?


Forum: May 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
January 17th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Car seat safety is something that I am extremely passionate about. I just don't see how anyone wouldn't be. In the hours and hours of research I've done trying to find the 'perfect' seat for my needs, I have also looked into all sorts of other safety info about the use of car seats. Many of the guidelines I had been unaware of previously, even while working as a nanny (the parents were obviously unaware as well). I believe when you know better, you do better. Boy, do I know better now!

I can't imagine someone who is having their first baby knowing all of the information without doing extensive research on their own first.

That is why I decided to become a Car Seat Safety Tech. I take the course in March, and am really excited to see what else I can learn!

Knowing that 80-90% of car seats are NOT used properly, made me want to ask, will you be having your seat inspected prior to or just after baby arrives? (not by the nurses at the hospital on your way out the door)

In my Province, CSSTs are replacing the more commonly known fire station inspections, and sometimes hold inspections at community events and sometimes Police organized roadside checkstops. You can also get in touch with a tech and have a private inspection done. It's free! They don't install the seat for you but give you tips and pointers, and make sure that you have done the install correctly. As well as when baby is in the seat that they are strapped in properly.

This is definitely a service I'm excited to start in my community (we live rurally, so nobody down here does it) and was wondering if it is available in your area, are you taking advantage?
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  #2  
January 17th, 2013, 09:31 AM
Ashley Schroeder's Avatar #1 Due in May
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Good for you on becoming a Car Seat Safety Tech. I think it's a great idea to have the car seat inspected. In fact, I wish it was a requirement for new parents. I will definitely have it done if it's available in my area.
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  #3  
January 17th, 2013, 09:38 AM
mrsjl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am fairly confident in my ability to use a car seat correctly. I know all the "rules" and follow them. my 5 year old is still in a 5-pt harness!!!
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  #4  
January 17th, 2013, 09:57 AM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I feel pretty comfortable that we're using our car seat correctly. When we first got it, we read the manual and we follow the weight guidelines. I make DS's straps as tight as I can without being painful for him. We also have a tool that locks the car seatbelt strap in place so it won't wiggle loose. That's really great that you're doing those classes though! When I lived in small town, Alaska, they didn't have any car seat safety classes. My husband was a firefighter at the fire station and no one there knew about car seats or how to install them. They were just a rag-tag bunch of firefighters, hah. So we had to figure it out on our own. At this point I feel pretty comfortable.

Since you know a lot about car seat safety though, do you know off the top of your head some common mistakes parents make with car seats? Since a lot of them are installed incorrectly?
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  #5  
January 17th, 2013, 10:05 AM
MrsLisaT's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I didn't even know that such a thing existed! Thanks for the heads up. Before becoming pregnant, I thought that all that was involved with a car seat is getting it strapped in and making sure baby is snug. I have a lot of learn. Do you have any recommended websites for mothers to visit to read more about safety?
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  #6  
January 17th, 2013, 10:06 AM
mrsjl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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one of my biggest peeves is when someone straps their kid in wrong. either the chest clip isn't in the right place, or the straps are twisted or too loose or not in the right height position, or they have their kids dressed in a thick coat. I see it all over the place. just the other day I saw a picture on facebook of a 2 year old in a booster seat. yikes!
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  #7  
January 17th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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I think the BIGGEST mistake I see here, when we have cold weather is kids being put into seats with their winter coats or snowsuits on. Also any car seat 'bag' that goes anywhere between the baby and the straps, or the straps and the seat. or custom 'after market' seat covers. All of these in a crash will compress creating a lot of space between baby and the straps, which would be dangerous. The problem in climates that reach -40 or below is that parents don't want to make their baby uncomfortable. There are however options available that don't require baby freezing and are still safe in seats (like covers that only touch the outside of the seat, polar fleece jackets etc) There are some neat videos on Youtube, here is one of my faves: Winter Coats & Car Seats Don't Mix - YouTube

Another mistake is putting the infant seat on top of a shopping cart. Not only is it dangerous for falls (there have been babys who died from toppling off a shopping cart) but the misleading 'click' sound, which on a cart does not mean it's safe or secure, is actually damaging the feature that locks it into the car seat base in your car.

Also If you are ever in an accident, with or without baby,even a minor fender bender, replace the seat immediately. Most insurance companies will cover this cost (many not upfront though) your seat may have damage you can't see, just from being jerked around slightly, and would not be effective in a future accident.

There is obviously so much more, but these are just some of the things I didn't know about, or have made the mistake of doing in the past, and I see a lot of now.

Otherwise I agree, reading the manual, installing the seat tightly (with either the Latch OR the seatbelt, but not both) etc and making sure that your child is positioned correctly and the straps are in the right spot, 100% of the time, all make the car seat as safe as possible for your baby!

There is a car seat safety board here on JM, that I like.. lots of women who know much more than me!

and Car Seat.Org - Carseat, Automobile & Child Passenger Safety Community Forums has a plethora of info too! Also check with your insurance companies... there is only 1 here in my Province, and they are the ones who do the training for Techs! (it's the passenger safety branch)
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  #8  
January 17th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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Great info. This is something not many people think about.

We will definitely be having ours inspected. All the local fire stations do it, the local military base does it, and DH is a certified firefighter so he has had training on it...but we'll take it to get inspected while we're on base one day when May gets closer.

It is silly to spend a bunch of money and time researching the safest car seat, only to use it improperly.

Kudos to you for getting certified.
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  #9  
January 17th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Honestly I dont know SQUAT about car seats.

My family hasnt had a baby in the family for 10 years and my youngest cousin is 5 bht lives away from us. So as far as carseats go, my family will need to learn.

We do have a parenting class avalible in Feb, so I will be going akong with my mom, dad, and older brother, and of course the babys dad.

The class covers house inspections (carbon anything in the air, gas leaks, water leaks) pretty much anything that will grow something nasty or cause something harmful. Then tips on caring for a new born, how to set up baby items the right way and I know the carseat inspection will be included.

They will also be taking classes on first aid and get certified for CPR in infants and adults.
I am not taking chances with my first born.
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  #10  
January 17th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Yes! We got ours inspected at the police station (they offer free, twice a month car seat inspections) before DS was born to make sure it was installed correctly. We thought we had it right, and it was no where near tightly enough installed. We also went back when we changed his carseat from the infant carrier with a base to the convertible seat with a tethering strap. And we just recently went again when we turned DS's seat around from rear facing to forward facing. We kept DS rear facing until just last week (he just turned 3 this month). The car seat safety guy said that was awesome that we did that bc it's so much safer for them to be rear facing.

We're planning to go back again next month to have baby girl's infant car seat installed. I love the security of having someone check it for us.
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  #11  
January 17th, 2013, 12:30 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks for the tips on what to look out for! I wasn't aware of the danger of a puffy coat, but it makes perfect sense. In an accident there can be so much force involved that people can get ejected from the windows if they're not strapped down. So that kind of force would definitely compress puffy stuff. Good to know!
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  #12  
January 17th, 2013, 12:58 PM
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With my first we brought it to be inspected. We just went to the local police station and they did it for us. We have not done it since. I feel pretty confident in how to use one now.
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  #13  
January 17th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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It's our first, so we are definitely going to get it inspected. They do it at any police or fire station here, so that is our plan!
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  #14  
January 17th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Dh uses the example of being overseas and watching an armoured vehicle hit an IED. It flew something like 12 ft in the air, and landed on it's side. Everyone walked away....Because they were properly strapped into their 5 point harnesses. It makes me feel so good knowing he understands the importance of the seat and the straps and using it properly. Its an extreme example, but it shows exactly how life saving properly used seats can be!

The seat should not move more than 1 in. in any direction at the base. I don't honestly know if I'm strong enough to get it in myself. Dh has to do our nephew's seat because I'm never happy with it when I put it in. No reason not to ask for help!

Good for you Kary4 for doing Extended rear facing! It is my plan/goal to make it to the 3 year mark as well with our baby. You are right, so long as your child is within the proper weight and height limits it is much safer. In countries like Sweden, children rear face to age 6! Unfortunately they don't make seats here for that size child to safely rear face.

Although I personally feel it's better to keep children rear facing as long as possible and that will be what I do. I'd be happy knowing others at a MINIMUM follow the laws! Many places, even if the child weighs enough to be FF but they aren't walking independently it's not legal to turn them until they are.

Shockingly there is NO law that prevents you from putting a child of any age, in the front seat of your vehicle. I'd really like to see this changed immediately!
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  #15  
January 17th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchywannabe View Post
Shockingly there is NO law that prevents you from putting a child of any age, in the front seat of your vehicle. I'd really like to see this changed immediately!
In New Mexico, in all the cars that I have ever been in if you pull down the visor in the drivers seat and passenger seat they have a warning.
Do not allow children 12 and under to be in the front passenger seat
No car seats facing the front or rear will be properly fit for the front passenger seat.

So its very uncommon to see a child in the frong. My 10 year old sister still seats in the back. Even if its just us.
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  #16  
January 17th, 2013, 03:36 PM
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There are warnings against it, its common knowledge but it's a bad idea... not against the law though. People with regular cab trucks for example in my opinion should not be transporting children under 12, but legally nothing can be done about it.
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  #17  
January 17th, 2013, 05:17 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think in America it is against the law, but I don't know that for sure. I wonder now! I know you can definitely report someone if you see them say with kids not strapped in or something. If I ever see that I just get so mad that parents would let their kids just jump around in the back of the car. It's nuts! Those kids will become flying projectiles in an accident. They could end up ejected out the windows and land yards away from the car. Even if an adult wants to risk it and not be buckled in, they need to respect their children's lives and buckle them in.
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  #18  
January 17th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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Thank you so much for all the info! My biggest pet peeved is seeing kids with the chest latch across their belly, yeah that's not doing anything down there!!
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  #19  
January 17th, 2013, 07:20 PM
markswife's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We had both the infant car seat and our toddler chair checked and had them both installed incorrectly. I felt like such a fool and so thankful that we had them checked before we found out the hard way they were wrong. I can't recommend enough that you have the seat checked.
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  #20  
January 17th, 2013, 07:23 PM
Memi's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miss britt View Post
Thank you so much for all the info! My biggest pet peeved is seeing kids with the chest latch across their belly, yeah that's not doing anything down there!!
Yes!!!!!!

I got our seat inspected before DS got here. I wont this time bc I feel very educated and experieced with car seats as opposed to before I had kids. Im passionate about car seat safety. I encourage anyone to get their seats double checked for peace of mind.
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