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  1. #1

    I recieved bad advice at carseat inspection, not sure what to do.

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here it is.

    Last week I took our car to a police officer who was a CPS tech. I got his name off a seatcheck website. I had some doubts about the way he installed our carseat. The officer turned our carseat around to forward facing. My daughter was weighed 2 months ago, and was 19 lbs then, so she is *possibly* 20 lbs by now. She is 14 months old and does not walk yet. I didn't agree that she should be forward facing because our carseat suggests keeping kids rear facing up to 30 lbs (it's a convertable seat). The officer told me that 19 lbs is close enough to 20 lbs, and that keeping her rear facing is not safe because the carseat doesn't recline to a 45 degree angle.

    Today I went to a different carseat inspection place, and they agreed with me that it is safer turn the carseat back around to rear facing. The CPS tech taught me how to install it myself tightly and safely. Now I have peace of mind that my DD is safe in our car.

    Now my question. Should say something to the officer who helped us the first time. He did get our carseat in very tight, but he did a few things wrong.

    * He had the seatbelt of the car twisted a few times where it shouldn't have been.
    * He told me that 19 lbs is close enough to 20 lbs to have a baby forward facing.
    * He told me that her carseat was not safe rear facing because it could not recline at 45 degrees (I have learned that older babies who can hold their heads up well don't need to be at 45 degrees).
    * He had the top tether twisted and not clipped correctly.
    * He didn't even know what the LATCH belts on our carseat were. I had to tell him.

    It seemed like he was behind in the times. I don't want to get him in trouble, he was kind and helpful, but I'm wondering if these mistakes are enough to worry about. I'm hoping he doesn't give bad advice to someone else resulting in a hurt baby. Do you think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, or do you think I should contact someone about these mistakes? I'm not even sure who I would contact.

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    From what you said, you are right on all counts. Except for the rear-facing aspect, most of the misuses may not have been among the most major ones we see. Even so, combined with turning your child front-facing, you child most likely left that checkup much less safe than when she arrived.

    Personally, I wouldn't necessarily report this tech to their superior at the police department. In some cases, techs do this on their own time (no overtime) and get little recognition for it. In many cases, their superior officer doesn't know much about child passenger safety and reporting them would affect them on their regular job duties also. On the other hand, it would be very appropriate to report it to a technician instructor in your area.

    Depending what state and area, we might be able to refer you to someone. Otherwise you'd have to start with the coordinator for your state, who could then refer you to an instructor in your area. Most likely, one of the instructors in your area knows this tech, or would be responsible for their certification when they renew. This page has a list of state contacts:

    Good luck!



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