Free check of child's car seats

Seven On Your Side
July 22, 2010 4:59:52 PM PDT
It may be the most important half hour of your young child's life. A quick safety check of your kid's car seat can be done by a professional for free.

With summer driving season shifting into high gear, now's the time to do it.

Studies show 75 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly.

Kimberlee Mitchell is out to change that. She's a car seat cop of sorts. Her beat is to check the back seat of young parent's cars.

At one free checkpoint offered by AAA, Eyewitness News found parent after parent, clueless when it came to installing their child's car seat.

The first tip is to find the safest place to install by reading both the car seat manual and the owner's manual to your car.

"Ideally, the center, middle seat is the safest location in the car. However, you need to read those manuals," said Kimberlee.

Then pick the right seat, based on your child's age, height and weight.

Mitchell says shoot for a seat that allows your kid to be rear facing up to 40 pounds.

After installation the seat shouldn't be able to move more than an inch in any direction.

When you strap your kid in, check where the chest clip is.

"It needs to be pulled up and right across the chest at armpit level," adds Mitchell.

Finally, stow and secure all belongings in the back.

"Anything that's in the car, that's not secured down can become a projectile, a lethal projectile, in the even of a crash," said Kimberlee.

LINK: Child safety seat inspection station locator

LINK: Additional installation tips