Before, During & After Car Seat Checkup

Before the Car Seat Checkup

  • Be prepared to learn, not just watch the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician install the car seat. They're trained to teach you.

  • Know your child's current weight and height.

  • Using the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner's manual, try to install the car seat into your vehicle prior to your appointment.

  • Tip! Check the index of your vehicle owner's manual for "child safety seats".

  • Be sure to bring the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner's manual with you to your appointment.

  • If possible, bring your child with you as well as another caregiver to help while you are learning.

  • Be prepared to learn. The CPS Technician is trained to educate you to install and use your car seat properly in your vehicle.

During the Car Seat Checkup

  • This one-on-one education typically takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your car seat and vehicle. The technician will take all the time you need until you feel comfortable that your car seat is used and installed correctly.

  • During the checkup, a CPS Technician will:

    • Fill out a car seat check form to document the process (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, etc.) The form may be electronic or on paper.

    • Review car seat selection appropriate for your child's age, weight and height as well as review factors affecting proper use.

    • Review the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner's manual to ensure that both are being followed correctly.

    • Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used.

    • Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.

    • Guide your installation of the car seat. You are encouraged to ask to learn how to install the car seat in different seating positions with different installation techniques.

    • Answer any questions you may have, so ask away.

After the Car Seat Checkup

  • A car seat checkup is considered a success if you can answer yes to the following questions:

    • Did you perform the installation?

    • Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?

    • Were your questions answered? If not, were you given direction as to who you should contact or will the CPS Technician follow up with you?

Special thanks to the Manufacturers Alliance for Child Passenger Safety for developing this checklist. And thank you for making time to learn an important skill that will help keep your children safe