Every parent knows the paramount importance of having a car seat installed correctly in their automobile. Yet, so few parents spend the time to become educated enough to install their own child’s car seat properly. Consequently, most of our kids are strapped into their car seats, but it may not stand the test if an accident were to happen. The car seat is somewhat of a comedy act within our family.
The responsibility of installing the car seat falls in my court in our household. I get the sense from speaking to lots of dads about this topic that they are responsible for the car seat in their family as well. For the first year, I just “winged it.” Heaven forbid I should open the manual or use the patience to learn how to do it from a seasoned parent. Basically, I strapped the car seat in…it looked good…it didn’t move too much…worked for me!
Then, our family took a trip to Florida. I popped the old car seat in the rental car and we were on our way. When going around a sharp turn, the car seat lifted several inches and my son nearly fell out. My wife was angry with me. When we returned from that vacation, I hooked up with an expert as I was determined to be in the minority of parents who actually install their car seat properly. Thanks to Alyssa, The Car Seat Lady, I still don’t consider myself an expert, but I am in Triple-A waiting for my chance to get called up to the Major Leagues.
Just yesterday, Ben Popken of The Consumerist posted (shared by Josh Kross):
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 9 out of 10 parents install their child’s car seat incorrectly. This could lead to your child getting hurt or killed in the event of an accident. Why risk it? Find an expert who can inspect your car seat and make sure you’ve put it in correctly. NHTSA has an online searchable database to find a certified technician near you
I have read similar statistics about car seat installation. So, why isn’t more being done about this challenge? Perhaps, hospitals should have car seat installation workshops for new and expecting parents. Seems plausible since they won’t let you check out of the hospital with your baby unless you have a car seat!
Let’s get back to the comedy of installing a car seat….
Now, installing the car seat is like working out at the gym for me. Tightening the straps and getting your entire body weight into the seat to make sure it is straight and does not move in any direction more than one-inch is like a wrestling match with my car seat. Usually, after the 5 – 10 minute process, my muscles are sore and I am soaking wet with sweat…and my wife finds it hysterical… between my antics, grunts, and posturing involved with the process. For these reasons, when I received this comical video from EvenFlo (yes, commercialism at its best), I had to laugh out loud…and share it with all of you.
Are you confident that you can install your car seat properly?