Car Seat Safety Check

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Get your car seat installation checked for free.

Every time we have to upgrade car seats, our attempt at installation is always an epic fail.  I pour over the directions but still can’t seem to get that dang thing in there snug.  So kiddos definitely don’t go in them.

Luckily for us, Western Pennsylvania has a great program called PA TECHS.  I’m not entirely sure what it stands for, but I know that they schedule appointments to help parents make sure that their car seat is installed properly, and that they know how to get their little ones buckled up correctly.  With 90% of car seats installed incorrectly, it truly is a great public service.  And they do these car seat safety checks for free.

The instructional appointments are done by police officers at different stations in the area.  They’re usually booked solid, though, so if you can, it would be a good idea to make your appointment a bit in advance.  ESPECIALLY if you’re pregnant and are working with an unpredictable deadline.

Here’s the stations that do it and the numbers to call.  If you need further assistance scheduling an appointment you can call PA TECHS and they will help you out.

  • Baldwin Borough Police Department (412) 881-1300
  • Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (West End Circle) (412) 937-3051  (They’re unavailable till mid-August as of now.)
  • Moon Twp Police Department (412) 262-5000
  • North Versailles Twp Police Department (412) 823-1111
  • Ohio Twp Police Department (412) 364-4338
  • West Deer Twp Police Department (724) 265-1100
Other states also have this program available.  To find a local program, search “free car seat safety check (your city here)”.  It’s well worth a trip to make sure your little one is safe on the road, and a great public service that every parent should take advantage of.
After years of practice, and many visits to PATechs, I finally feel confident in my car seat-installing capabilities. A tip that’s helped me is to always try to install the seat well before you have to leave.  This gives you time to figure out any bad fits you may run into, and find an alternative solution ahead of time.

15 thoughts on “Car Seat Safety Check

  1. Holly@Clubthrifty

    I feel your pain! Our oldest daughter just moved into a booster and it took us forever to figure out how to put it together, how to strap it in, etc. They make it complicated.

    Luckily, my better half is much better at those things than I am!

  2. MyMoneyDesign

    I love programs like this; such a good resource for parents who need the help. My wife and I were such idiots when we first got our car seats. No matter how we installed them, they never really felt “tight” enough. We’re so lucky the kids are grown and don’t need them anymore. I would have really hated to have gotten in an accident and put those seats through the ultimate test.

  3. Michelle

    We went through the fire station with both boys, but they stopped doing them there by the time my daughter was born. We ended up calling the children’s hospital and we were able to make an appointment with a car seat installer (idk if that was her actual title…lol) a few days later.

  4. Nurse Frugal

    I think it’s interesting because most people think that the fire departments are all trained on installing car seats, but they actually aren’t. I’m glad you shared that information 🙂 Cool blog!

  5. click

    Choosing the correct car seat can often be very confusing as not only have you to ensure the correct size car seat for your child but that the car seat that you choose is also a correct fit for your car. Selecting a car seat that scores highly in the many test reports available is all very well but selecting a car seat that fits your car properly is probably the more important feature for your childs safety. This article gives a basic idea about the different types of car seats that are available and the differences between different types.

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