The Franklin Fire Department will host a free car seat safety check on March 29, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The event will take place at Franklin Fire Station 1, located at 500 New Highway 96 West.
Please allow 30 minutes for your inspection and bring your child with you if at all possible.
Those who cannot make it to the event may schedule an appointment with a Franklin Fire Department technician, by calling 615-791-3275 the morning you’d like to have your seat checked.
Car Seat Tips from Safe Kids Worldwide
- Select the car seat or booster seat that fits your child, your car and your budget.
- Never buy a used car seat when you don’t know the previous owner or the complete history of the car seat. A used car seat is unsafe if it has been in a crash or if it is missing parts, labels, or instructions. A car seat is also unsafe if the manufacturer has issued a safety recall and the seat has not been fixed. There’s just no way to be sure that a used car seat is safe.
- The back seat is the safest place to ride for all children under age 13.
- There are two ways to secure a car seat in a vehicle (both are safe, but don’t use both at the same time):
- Seat belt
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) – Use LATCH only for children less than a certain weight. The car seat label lists the weight limit. When your child gets too big for LATCH, simply undo LATCH and secure the car seat with the seat belt and top tether.
- Does the car seat have a snug fit? Do the INCH TEST to find out. A properly-installed car seat shouldn’t move more than one inch front to back or side to side when pulled at the seat belt path.
- Use the correct harness slots – as your child grows, the proper placement of the shoulder straps changes. On rear-facing car seats, the shoulder straps should come through the car seat slots at or just BELOW your child’s shoulders. On forward-facing seats, the shoulder straps should be at or just ABOVE the shoulders.
- Do the PINCH TEST to make sure the harness is snug enough – after you buckle and tighten the harness, pinch the harness at the shoulder. If the harness is snug, your fingers will slide off the webbing. If the harness is loose, you will be able to pinch the webbing between your fingers. A loose harness is a common mistake and is not safe.
- Keep tightening the harness until it passes the Pinch Test.
When to Change
- Use a rear-facing seat until age 2. If you are in a front-end crash (the most common type of crash) a rear-facing seat allows your child’s head, neck and spine to move evenly into the seat, not away from it.
- Use your current car seat until your child reaches the maximum weight or height limit listed on the label. There is no need to rush on to the next car seat or booster seat. Every step forward reduces safety just a bit.