Car seats are important for your child’s safety, but not correctly installing and buckling your car seat can significantly impact its effectiveness. The CDC estimates 46% of car seats are not installed properly, which is a scary number! Of course, families don’t think they’ve incorrectly installed their car seats. They believe following the manual is enough to properly position and fasten the seat.
Correct use of car seats reduces the risk of injury for your little one by 71-82%. A Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) is the key to making sure your car seat is reaching top safety standards! These nationally certified technicians provide a vital car seat inspection for parents like you looking for confirmation on proper install and car seat use.
What is a Child Passenger Safety Technician?
The technical term for a car seat consultant is “Child Passenger Safety Technician.” These certified car seat techs undergo specialized training to become experts in car seat use! They take a roughly 40 hour course by NHTSA in collaboration with National CPS Board and Safe Kids Worldwide. So you know they’re the real deal. CPSTs are not necessarily used in finding the perfect car seat for your family. If you need help with that, see our post on how to find the perfect car seat for your newborn or our car seat courses. Instead, they provide one-on-one personalized instruction to caring parents like you, who understand that getting your car seat checked and receiving one on one instruction for using the car seat properly is super important!
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just show up to a fire station and get your car seat checked. In fact, the nurse at the hospital may not even be qualified to help you! Not every nurse, pediatrician, police officer, firefighter, or OBGYN has the training to provide car seat education. But certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are able to provide you with adequate training.
There are over 43,000 nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians all over the U.S. and you can find one in your area using the Safe Kids Worldwide website. There are other more convenient options too, if you can’t find one in your area or are too busy with the kiddos! We are nationally certified child passenger safety technicians, so you can do a virtual consultation like the one we have here.
Benefits of Meeting With a Child Passenger Safety Technician
There are tons of benefits of meeting with a CPST! We believe a CPST should have a permanent home in your contacts, just like your pediatrician and babysitter. Take a look at our list of benefits below!
Confirm Correct Car Seat Installation
Installing a car seat is not as easy as “1, 2, 3.” Getting it tight enough to avoid the extra one inch of wiggle or getting the recline right on your slanted driveway is a chore! It can leave you throwing your hands up and saying, “That’ll work!”
A child passenger safety technician knows exactly how to install your car seat and won’t settle for “good enough.” They will teach you how to use your car seat so you’ll have confidence that not only is your car seat installed to its manual’s recommendations, but it’s also installed properly based on your vehicle and seating layout.
Ensure You Know How to Properly Buckle Up
Once the car seat is installed, the job is not done. You’ve got to buckle your child in every day, so knowing how to do that is crucial! The CPST will show you how to properly adjust your car seat and fasten the straps to make the safest situation for your kiddo.
Learn Vital Additional Information
A CPST will give you information on state laws, recalls, vehicle specifics, and even future car seat plans! All of this information can be difficult to find online, and some of it you don’t even know you need until they tell you. CPSTs are a valuable resource that car seat manuals and YouTube videos can’t replace.
Peace of Mind for You
As parents, we stress enough. Peace of mind is something well worth the time and effort. You’ll have confidence your child is as safe as can be in their seat after you attend your consultation. There will be no doubt that you’re getting the full-benefit from your expensive gear.
Best Safety for Your Child
Most of all, a child passenger safety technician is going to make your child safe. When in your car, they’ll have the best protection in the event of a crash. There are a lot of things we can control as parents, but road conditions, other drivers, and distractions aren’t things we command. Accidents happen every day, and it’s not a gamble you want to take with your child. A child in a properly used car seat is a safe child.
How to Become a CPST
To become a Child Passenger Safety Technician in the USA , you’ll need to follow a structured training program that equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge. You can find a class near you by checking here. This training include sboth classroom instruction and hands-on training. During your training, you’ll learn about car seat installation, child passenger safety regulations, and how to conduct seat checks effectively. After completing the training program, you’ll need to pass a hands-on exam to demonstrate your expertise. Once certified, you can actively participate in seat check events, where you’ll assist parents and caregivers in properly installing and using child car seats to ensure the safety of young passengers.
Hiring a CPST is something you need to do in order to confirm you are getting the most of your car seat and keeping your child safe!
Finding a child passenger safety technician is easy and can be done in-person or online. The education you’ll receive is vital for your confidence and your child’s safety. Before your consultation, take a look at this list of what to expect.
Are you totally in? That’s great! Do you have other people in your life like a grandparent or a sitter that has a car seat for your child? Take a look at our advice on how to talk to them about the importance of car seat safety and request they get a consultation like you.
Don’t delay! Find a CPST in your area or join us for a convenient, one on one, informative, and effective online visit! We can’t wait to see you and help more parents make the right and safe decision for their family. Giving guidance and reassurance when it comes to traveling safely with your kids is our mission!