Have you had your Child’s Car Seat or Booster Seat Checked?
As much as the technicians at CSFTL.org help caregivers online every day, it is always a good idea to have an in-person appointment for a car seat or booster seat check with your child’s car seats and booster seats. Nothing can replace working with a CPST and learning hands-on how to use your own seats in your own car properly.
Find a Local CPST
Here are a few ways to find a CPST who is local to you:
- Search the Safe Kids Database (note: less information yields more results. Always leave “name” blank unless you are looking for a specific technician)
- Visit NHTSA Parents Central: Inspection Station Locator
- If you are looking for a Canadian technician, you can also search the CPSAC Find a Tech database.
Different Types of Seat Checks
Inspection/Fitting Stations: The name can be confusing. These events are more like education and instruction stations. These events are held in a permanent location with a set schedule for conducting car seat checks. Most stations or regular events require appointments.
Events: These are scheduled in advance, often advertised, and staffed usually with volunteer technicians. They are not regularly scheduled, but may happen several times a year (for instance, four times a year at a local hospital or store, but not always the same four times a year or the same location).
Private Businesses: Some CPSTs have their own business. They often come to your home so you do not even have to leave your house to have your child’s car seat or seats checked. There is usually a charge for this type of service.
Independent CPSTs: You will also find some technicians that will meet you at a public location to do a seat check. Often, they do not even charge for their time, though gratuities are always appreciated.
What to Expect During a Seat Check
At an inspection/fitting station or event, the time allotted for each appointment varies. Some events schedule thirty minutes, while others (like the one of the monthly events pictured in this article) schedule an hour for each visit. You can expect to learn about your seat and be shown how to install it properly. Leave about an hour for the appointment and bring your car seat questions with you!
When meeting with a private business or independent technician, you may also learn multiple ways to install a car seat, have discussions about your pets, projectiles, general car safety, how to travel with your seat, and other more one-on-one discussions about your particular situation. In general, for techs who visit people at their homes, an appointment may take an hour or more.
For more information, please read: What to Expect at a Seat Check and What to Expect from a Child Passenger Safety Technician.