We all want our children to ride safely in cars anywhere we go. But sometimes installing a car seat can feel like a daunting task. All car seats purchased from Sprout receive free lifetime support with installation*. We have certified Child Passenger Safety (CSP) technicians who are here for you.
*If you did not purchase your car seat at Sprout, no problem. Please note that there is a $25 fee for up to two seats & each additional seat is $10. Fees are donated to our local Car Seat Coalition to help purchase seats for the less fortunate.
Car Seat Struggles? We're Here to Help!
As CPS technicians, we do so much to help keep your kids safe. Techs deliver car seat checks and help parents and caregivers understand all they can do to prevent unintentional injuries in and around cars.
But there are a few things you should know before you meet with a CPS technician. This meeting isn't like leaving your car at the shop for an oil change. Working with a CPS technician is a one-on-one learning experience. When you leave, you should feel confident that your child's seat is installed correctly and assured that you could reinstall it by yourself.
According to the Safe Kids Coalition, here's what you need to know about working with a CPS technician:
Before the Car Seat Checkup
- Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS technician install the car seat. They're trained to teach you.
- Try to schedule an appointment one to two months before your baby's due date just in case you deliver early. Many CPS technicians and their agencies require appointments several weeks in advance.
- If your child is already born, know your child's weight and height, and bring your child with you. If possible, also bring another adult to help watch the child while you are learning.
- Install the seat in your vehicle before your car seat checkup appointment. Be sure to use the instructions that came with the child car seat and the instructions in your vehicle owner's manual regarding car seats.
- Bring the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner's manual with you to your appointment.
During the Car Seat Checkup
- Ask to see proof of your technician's current certification.
- This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 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 form to note a variety of information, including the car seat type, location in the vehicle & misuse observations, if any.
- Ensure that your car seat is appropriate for your child's age, and size, and review factors affecting proper use.
- Review the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner's manual to ensure that both are being followed correctly. (Remember to bring the vehicle owner's manual with you.)
- Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used.
- Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage & expiration date.
- Watch you install the car seat(s) correctly using either the seat belt or LATCH system.
- Discuss the next steps for each child, such as when to graduate to the next type of car seat.
- Discuss the benefits of everyone riding buckled in correctly, including all adults.
- Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
- 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 participate in the installation?
- Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?
- Did the technician answer all your questions? If not, were you given another expert to contact or will the CPS technician follow up with you?
Thank you for making time to learn an essential skill that will help keep your children safe.
Child Safety Inspections
Anderson Weber, in partnership with the Dubuque Police Department, hosts a free checkup event the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-noon. Appointments are encouraged. Please call 563-556-3281 to set up an appointment. You also can call the Dubuque Police Department or the Dubuque Fire Station to set up an appointment with one of their certified technicians.
Product recalls don't expire, so it's essential to check recalls regularly. It's especially crucial if you receive hand-me-downs or buy children's products at a secondhand shop or yard sale.