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Is Your Car Seat Safe?

Photo of car seat inspection

Rady Children’s provides car seat safety checks to be sure

Even the most careful parents can use a little help sometimes. Rady Children’s and its community partners are working to ease the minds of local parents and guardians by making sure their car seats are safe and installed correctly, and replacing them if they don’t meet safety standards.

Rady Children’s Transportation Safety Program hosts pop-up inspection events at locations across San Diego, though for some of them, registration and an attendance fee are required. Parents can also schedule a car seat inspection for $50. Attendees receive a 45-minute consultation in which staff members cover correct car seat placement, how to adjust a seat’s tethers as the child grows, how to keep your child safe if they’re sleeping in the car seat, and more.

“We talk about all the benefits of your seat, how to put a child in it, how to fit it for the child and then how to put it in the car—everything about your seat and what you need to do,” explains Lorrie Lynn, Rady Children’s injury prevention manager.

Parents also practice installing their car seats correctly under the watchful eye of Transportation Safety Program technicians.

Mark Green, a single dad with four kids still in car seats or boosters, attended his second inspection event in spring 2021. The shoulder straps on the convertible car seats three of his children were using weren’t fitting well. The technicians ended up replacing all three car seats with new ones at no cost to him. He also got a refresher course on car seat safety.

“It was a great experience both times,” Green says. “They’re not judgmental; nobody in this program makes it feel that way. They just want to help.”

He says that the new seats—and knowing he was using them correctly—really made a difference. Transportation Safety Program staff also followed up with him twice to make sure he retained the information, and they even threw in a Walmart gift card for his trouble.

Car crashes are a leading cause of injury and death in children age 5 to 14 in San Diego County. Using an age-appropriate, properly installed safety seat reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 71 percent. To learn more about child passenger safety, find community inspection events or schedule an inspection, visit driventosafety.org.

Published in Healthy Kids Magazine, Winter 2022