There was never a question in my mind that my child would ride in a car seat for a very long time, but did you know that 96 percent of parents and caregivers believe their child safety seats are installed correctly, only to find that research shows that seven out of 10 children are improperly restrained? How crazy is that? That is why when it came time to install our infant seat, and then our car seat with went with a professional.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled a list of car seat safety check stations all over the country. For my New York readers here is a list of stations in New York separated by county.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but when we did our installation we didn’t actually “install” anything per say. When I say “we” I mean Captain Awesome. Well he tried a little for the infant seat (have you seen those instructions???) and when we showed up the inspector pretty much laughed and told us it was all wrong. After that experience we just brought in our car seat and had it installed from scratch. I think you are supposed to have it installed, but for us it was just easier to have them do it for us. It took them 2 minutes top!

According to Safe Kids USA here a few statistics..

  • Child restraints and seat belts, when installed and used properly, can prevent injuries and save lives. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death to children 3-14 in the United States.  During 2009, there were a total of 33,803 fatalities.   Children under 14 accounted for 1314 deaths (4%) of which 181 (14%) involved alcohol impaired driving.
  • Fatalities represent only the tip of the iceberg. For every fatality, approximately 18 children are hospitalized and more than 400 receive medical treatment.
  • Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants younger than 1 year of age and by 54% for toddlers ages 1-4. Children ages 2-6 years old in child safety seats (including child restraints and belt positioning booster seats) are approximately 28% less likely to receive a fatal injury than those using safety belts alone.

Still looking for some more tips on how to keep your child safe? The National Safety Council offer some really helpful documents that give you some really helpful tips.

I feel that a lot of Grandparents will tell you “you survived and we never got your car seat inspected”. My answer to them is “yes we did, but why would I take the risk of installing it incorrectly when there are so many resources out there to help?” That’s the bottom line in my opinion. For a few extra minutes of your time go get your car seat checked. It couldn’t hurt right?