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Thread: WWYD?

  1. #1
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    WWYD?

    Would you be comfortable installing a car seat in someone elses car, for someone elses child?

    An acquaintance of mine, knowing that I know what I do about car seats and knowing that I care about car seat safety as much as I do, asked me to install her car seat for her.

    I'm confident that I could get it in fine (and seeing how she had her infant seat installed - much better than she could do herself, I think) as it's the exact same seat my daughter has that I've installed and taken out and installed again at least 5 times, and if I wasn't 100% comfortable with putting my own child in the seat the way it was installed I would take it out, BUT it is someone elses child and, at least IMO, it's a huge deal.

    Would you be comfortable doing it?

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Are you a tech? If not, absolutely not. Even if you are, we don't as a general rule install for parents. Our goal is to educate so the parents know how to use their seat properly. There's nothing wrong with telling your friend that you'd be happy to go through the manual with her and help her learn to install it but she should do the actual installation herself.
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

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  5. #3
    Carseat Crazy PunkyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    I have before and I understand there is liability involved but certain circumstances call for help. Like the day I was outside at Target and a 80something year old Grandma asked for my help because she literally could NOT have gotten that seat tight enough.

    I have done it for my sisters kid, if I am babysitting and a parent drops off their seat too I have installed it in my car... no different than in their car unless they had some weird seat belts I didn't feel comfortable with. I always refer to manual and its only happened a few times so I'm definitely not talking about all the time.

    Would I let anyone else install my kids carseat? Not if I could help it (maybe if I was in a coma...) but there are sadly people out there who do not care and are ignorant or uneducated and don't do the best they can do themselves (not talking about your friend, just in general).
    M Dec 2010, 93 lbs, 49.5 in | Chicco LBB
    E Dec 2019, in utero | Nuna Pipa Lite, Maxi Cosi Mico 30, Diono Radian RXT (for later)
    2019 Acura MDX A-spec
    2015 BMW 328i Msport
    2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

  6. #4
    CPS Technician Lemonade's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    I installed many seats for friends before I was a tech. Just like I would have helped them assemble their crib or swing if they had needed help. Actually it's now that I'm a tech I make them do the last install. Something I never did before. Go over the manual with her. Install it yourself and get a hang of it while explaining it to her, and then pop it out and have her do it.
    CPST and Mom to:
    DS 12/05 {60# and 55.5"}
    DD 6/08 {56# and 51.5"} in an Incognito

  7. #5
    CPS Fanatic mominabigtruck's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    Yes, absolutely. It's nice to say they need to go see a tech and learn how to do it but the reality is that most people aren't doing that and you could be the one thing standing between them and possible death.

    If it's a seat I'm not familair with or we're having problems installing in their vehicle then a tech should be called in. But honestly, I've met quite a few techs around here and I don't think there's anything or any seat that they know that I don't.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #6
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    All the time. But I'm a tech.

    Washington State covers techs as good samaritans as well, specifically, so here I really have no concerns as myself, and then if I wasn't a tech, doing what you did.

    However, other states or provinces may not be good climates for it. So it is a risk.

    If her hands were the last to touch it, though, and you explained the hows and whys, it's really no different than us talking her through it via online. There's really no way it can come back to you. Her hands installed the seat, and she chose to take advice from you. Ideally everything you said is in the manual so you'll be backed up.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

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  10. #7
    CPS Technician hrice's Avatar
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    Yes I would and have (even before I was a tech). I don't install for someone though. I teach them how and have them do it.
    Heather, proud mommy to:
    Dustin 12y & 105 lbs 5-stepped/Seatbelt only
    Colton 6y & 43lb FF RXT/Pinnacle/FR90
    Peyton 5y & 38lb FF in Sureride/FR90/FR85

  11. #8
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    Re: WWYD?

    I would be, tech or not. Yes, there is liability, either way. But there is liability with everything. I always feel that a properly installed and properly used carseat is SO GOOD at doing what it needs to do, that if there was a wreck, the child would be protected to the max (and of course some wrecks are just not survivable). But I believe in car seats a lot!

    What I'm not comfortable doing is driving other people's children. I know tons of people carpool. Maybe someday I'll change. But I would be very nervous doing that. I drove my teen cousins and realized they were not taught how to sit in a seatbelt. They put it behind their back! I had them correct it, but honestly! And then they were leaning all over... If you're 15 and can't sit properly, I don't want to drive you!

    If you do help install, have the child there too so the friend knows how to strap the child in.
    Seatbelt and 59" (9 YO)
    Harmony Youth (8 YO)/Clek Olli (6YO)
    Harmony Dreamtime (5 YO)
    Clek Fllo (3 YO, RF)/Graco 40 (15 months)
    + 2 Recaro Performance boosters in spare car

  12. #9
    Carseat Crazy katymyers's Avatar
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    Now understand I live in an area with NO techs nearby but at the hospital I work at I have installed and explained/showed proper usage to A LOT of people going home with their newborns. All the nurses in our obstetric ward and NICU have needed to at some point, when you get a patient out to the car and the base is just sitting on the seat, or installed backwards, or even upside down (I kid you not). There are a few FORMER techs but no current ones that I work with and I am not a tech (yet, I have to take a course in another state so I'm waiting til Ella's weaned).

  13. #10
    Carseat Crazy hedgefun's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    Generally I don't have a problem installing for a friend, especially if the seat was installed way wrong to begin with or if there is a physical issue limiting the person's ability to install properly. I always recommend that they see a tech and I always try to just talk them through it instead of just doing it for them, but sometimes that doesn't work. For example, I have a friend who cannot get her CA installed tightly, but I can. I know the risks and I'm comfortable with it. Eventually I am going to become a tech when I find a class that fits my work schedule.

  14. #11
    CPS Technician tiggercat's Avatar
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    As a tech, sure, why not? I know how to do it properly. Obviously, it is best to teach them how to do the install where possible but some people either don't care to or are unable to install correctly. I often snug up people's seats while installing my own in their vehicle, and when I drive other people's kids I arrive with seats installed.

    Sent from my iPod touch using Car-Seat.Org
    Natalie, CRST-I, mum of Greg (15), Megan (10), Benjamin and Samuel (6).


  15. #12
    CPS Fanatic Brianna's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    I install J's seat for him in whatever vehicle his mom asks me to. Other than that, I walk people through the manual and watch them do it themselves. If they can't get it right, I'll demonstrate what I do different (how I pull on the belt or something) then I'll unbuckle and let them try again. I'm sure if there was a physical disability involved I would help to the extent required, but be sure the parent knows how to instruct another person to help them. I do refer them to techs after.

    The godkids are growing!
    J 9/09 and J&A 1/15

  16. #13
    CPST Instructor EmmaCPST's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    The problem with installing seats for people is that at SOME point, they're always going to have to move it and are you going to be there to put it back in for them then? Because every time I do it for a friend, a few months later I usually notice that something is wrong after they've put it back in themselves. I try to always teach my friends, same as I would with any other parent.

    The only time I install seats for people I don't know is if they have some sort of physical limitation that they just can't get it in correctly... grandparents, women who waited until they were 40+3 pregnant and it's 100 degrees outside and they drive a 2 door Honda Civic (yeah, really lol) etc.
    Emma
    CPST-I & Colorado Mama to 5 year old Sam & 1 year old Grace, riding in a Frontier and a Coccoro.

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  18. #14
    Carseat Crazy PunkyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: WWYD?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedgefun View Post
    Eventually I am going to become a tech when I find a class that fits my work schedule.
    That's what I'm dealing with too... lol
    M Dec 2010, 93 lbs, 49.5 in | Chicco LBB
    E Dec 2019, in utero | Nuna Pipa Lite, Maxi Cosi Mico 30, Diono Radian RXT (for later)
    2019 Acura MDX A-spec
    2015 BMW 328i Msport
    2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

  19. #15
    guest1
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    Re: WWYD?

    Thanks for the opinions.

    No, I'm not a tech. And I did install it for her tonight. The police station or fire station won't do it and there is only one tech at our local health unit. That "tech" advised me that I should put my 9 month old (at the time, she's 12 months old) forward facing. Not a tech I'm comfortable with, and truthfully I'm not even sure if she truly is a tech - would a tech recommend FFing a 9 month old!?

    Anyway, I did install it for her. She was right there watching and helping me. We tried with the LATCH and I could not get it tight enough for my comfort, so we tried the seatbelt. I explained what I was doing and why. I asked her if she was okay with me installing using the seatbelt, she said she was. So I put the seat belt through one side, she pulled it and clicked it in. Then she pushed down on the seat while I was tightening the belt, and both of us (at different times) tried moving it. I was comfortable with the install I got (it's TIGHT!) and she said that she was as well. So, really we did it together. I just guided it.

  20. #16
    CPS Fanatic mlohry's Avatar
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    I am a former tech and help people frequently that are friends or family, but I ALWAYS tell them my tech cert is expired and I always ask them to first read their manuals seat and car. I will help them to know how tight it needs to be as not 1 person who I've helped know how to get it tight enough. I will show them how I do it, then I take it out and have them do it. I know they need to know how to do it correctly. I will assist with getting it tight, but make sure they do the work. I'd rather run the risk of helping someone than have the seat in all wrong and know I could have helped.
    Monica-former CPST, now just a car-seat safety freak.
    Samuel, 12 yrs, seat belt middle passenger row of our Odyssey.
    Mitchell, 10yrs, back row, Amp.
    Lucy, 6 years, booster. All of us occasionally ride in a Honda Fit.

  21. #17
    CPS Fanatic mlohry's Avatar
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    I should add if someone is having me transport their child with or without them with, I install the seat in my van. I will not run the risk of someone else putting a seat in wrong in my vehicle.
    Monica-former CPST, now just a car-seat safety freak.
    Samuel, 12 yrs, seat belt middle passenger row of our Odyssey.
    Mitchell, 10yrs, back row, Amp.
    Lucy, 6 years, booster. All of us occasionally ride in a Honda Fit.

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