Thursday, July 22, 2010

Precious Cargo

I’m less than two weeks away from having a baby. Last thing on my to-do list? Install the car seat. Turns out it was a little more complicated than I predicted.

I spent a Saturday morning taking the seat out of the box, reading the car seat instruction manual, looking at my car and referencing the car manual. Both my car seat and car came equipped with LATCH anchors, which are supposed to make installing a car seat a piece of cake.

Not so much. The safest place for a car seat is the center position in the back seat,but my car manual instructed me that my LATCH anchors were on the passenger seats, not the center position. So do I use LATCH and place my car seat in an outboard seat or do I use the seat belt in the center seat?

I didn’t know but luckily I did know that Missouri has a wealth of resources, including certified car seat technicians and inspection stations located across the state. I set up an appointment with one of those techs to help me install my seat.

It took less than 20 minutes and my seat was installed, and most importantly – installed correctly. According to NHTSA, three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, putting children at risk. After watching her install the seat in my car, I was then able to go home and help my husband install the car seat base in his truck.

Even if you are able to make sense out of the car seat manual and install your car seat yourself, it’s still important to make sure it’s done correctly. Find an inspection station near you and have a car seat technician check to make sure your seat is installed correctly.

You can find a list of inspection stations and also check out the instructional videos located at

There’s nothing more important than securing your most precious cargo.