Did you know that four out of five car seats are not installed correctly?
Trinity Health Pediatrics has nurses who are certified to perform car seat checkups. The checkups make sure car seats are installed correctly so babies and children are kept as safe as possible in vehicles, said Tiffany Smith, LPN, a pediatric nurse with Trinity Health and a licensed car seat technician.
There are several factors that play an important part in car seat safety, including installation. Sometimes, “they are not in as tight as they should be,” Smith said, noting that car seats should move “an inch or less” when installed properly. Parents might also use the wrong type of car seat; the correct car seat depends on the height and weight of the child. “A lot of times the seat belt is too loose,” Smith says.
During the checkup, the nurses make sure:
• The seat has not been recalled and that it has not expired. “Car seats expire six years after the date of manufacture,” Smith said. This date is on a label underneath the seat.
• The right seat is used. This depends on the height and weight of the child. An infant seat is generally for those between 4 and 25 pounds. It should be rear-facing and used until age 2. A booster seat, either high-back or
regular, should be used for children who weigh 40 pounds or more.
• The seat is installed correctly. Nurses will assist caregivers with installing the car seat correctly, checking for recline, making sure the seat is installed as tightly as it should be, and making sure that the child fits in the car seat correctly.
Monthly car seat checkups will be held at Health Center – Medical Arts, 400 Burdick Expy E, Minot, throughout the summer and autumn, weather permitting, in the underground parking lot from noon to 3:00 p.m. on the following dates: Saturday, June 22; Saturday, July 13; Saturday, August 17; and Saturday, September 14. No appointments are necessary for these checkups.
Car seat checks are also performed in the Pediatric clinic, located at Health Center – Medical Arts, Monday through Thursday. To set up an appointment, call 701-857-5413. The process takes 20 to 30 minutes. In addition to the car seat, parents should bring the vehicle manual and car seat manual.