Recently, Safe Kids launched the Ultimate Car Seat Guide, a resource for parents or parents-to-be.
The website, https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/, is divided into two sections, entitled Basic Tips and Personalized Tips.
The Basic Tips section offers advice in four categories: buying a seat, installation, finding the right fit and how to know when your child should move up to the next type of seat. The Basic Tips section teaches the types of seats, offers a diagram labeling parts of the seat and provides general advice, such as avoiding used seats and registering the seat for notification of possible recalls.
For the Personalized Tips section, the parent enters the child’s date of birth and weight to determine the correct type of seat. The tips are accompanied by instructional videos about correct fit and supplemental advice.
Cynthia Fryer of Safe Kids Upstate cautions that the online resource should not be considered a substitute for a car seat inspection by a certified technician or reading your seat’s manual.
“Car seat experts created these tips based on combinations of age and weight,” Fryer said. “Caregivers are urged, at every opportunity, to read labels so additional information about height is gathered by seat selected. The guide merely points them in the direction of possible seats by age and weight.”
Additional resources include an extensive glossary, list of frequently asked questions, and a link to locate a certified car seat technician for a car seat inspection, which Fryer recommends as the best way to make sure your child is safe in a correctly installed seat.
At my family’s car seat inspection, I was surprised to learn that my one of my car seats, which wasn’t expired, was no longer safe due to excessive summer heat. The technician identified weak spots in the plastic base under the fabric seat cover. Safe Kids Upstate gave me a replacement seat immediately at no charge. Although I would’ve been happy to buy my own seat, their policy is that no child leaves a facility in seat less than perfectly safe.