Is Your Kid’s Car Seat Installed Properly? New Study Says “Maybe Not”

14 months.

Despite how much I truly love my son with all my heart, I may be putting him in danger everyday. But how?

Well, it’s just that I’m not completely convinced I installed my son’s car seat properly into my car. I mean, I think I did it right, but now I’m not so sure.

I know I can take my car to any fire station and a firefighter can show me how to correctly strap our son’s car seat into my car. Yet I haven’t got around to it.

To be perfectly honest, I feel kind of ashamed and embarrassed going to the big strong firefighter so he can help out this seemingly pathetic dad who can’t even put his own son’s car seat in the right way.

In other words, I’ve been letting pride get in the way of my son’s safety. Smart trade-off, huh?

Last week, a study was released showing how more than 30% of parents do not enforce the rule of booster seats when their kids are with another driver and that 45% of parents do not require their young kids to use a booster when they’re driving other children who don’t have booster seats.

While I can’t relate to this yet because my son is only 14 months old, I obviously am feeling guilty and responsible about it now. So I finally called the fire station, which is conveniently right around the corner from where I work, and scheduled an appointment with a licensed expert to inspect my work.

Soon, I can be assured that my son is safely strapped in his car seat. Finally, despite my pride.

It turns out, my wife went to high school with Jennifer Rubin, the Public Education Officer and Safe Kids Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor for the Cosumnes Fire Department in Elk Grove, CA.

So I was curious about what she had to say about this topic. Here is the wisdom she has to share with us today:

“A recent study showed 84% of car seats inspected had a critical misuse. I wish car seats were easy, but it is hard for parents to know they are getting the best information.

When people become parents, they often go to their own parents for advice. Grandparents can help you with how to get your baby to sleep, what your toddler should eat, potty training and more, but unfortunately they can’t help you with car seats.

Car seats and car technology have changed so much in recent years that you have to be up to date with the latest technology. Even your friends with school-age children may not have the best information.

Make sure you have the right car seat for your child, for your car and for your family. Take the time to find a local car seat tech to help you at safekids.org.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3-14 in the United States. Car seat safety is worth your time!”

So I’ve established that I might be a statistic. What about you? Is your child’s car seat properly installed? Do you know for sure?

Image: Safety belt, via Shutterstock.

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  1. by Kim

    On February 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

    We’ve had our seats installed and reinstalled by our police dept many times. Each time, I hear the same thing: “this is installed correctly but it is way too loose”. Let me know what you end up finding out with Jack’s seat.