Local organizations offer free car seat inspections
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Kansas Turnpike Authority says almost half of all car seats are being used incorrectly which increases the risk of getting an injury in a crash. This is why some local businesses are offering free car seat inspections to give parents peace of mind when driving around their precious cargo.
One place that offers free car seat inspections and will show you how to install a car seat correctly is the Wichita Fire Department. Lt. Jason Johnson with the community risk reduction division says he is one of five lieutenants in the department who is certified to inspect car seats.
He explained he had to go through a week long course to learn everything.
"You know we don't want kids being on the road without a safe car seat," Johnson said.
He explains that there are multiple factors parents need to consider when choosing a car seat for their child. This includes their kids weight, height, the history of the seat, how long it lasts, if the car has anchors or needs to be fastened with a seat belt and more.
"It just depends on their weight. Once they get past a certain weight you need to turn them forward facing," he says.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says you should keep your child rear facing until they reach the weight limit of the car seat's manufacturer. This should be found in the manual. The NHTSA offers a generic guideline for what age, height, and weight your child should typically switch positions.
Every parent's number one priority is keeping their child safe and they can make sure his or her seat is secure by taking it to get a free inspection in the city.
"She's my little baby girl and I want to keep her and her brother as safe as possible so they can have a long fun life," says Taylor Lestmeister, a mother of two.
She said she did a lot of research by joining Facebook mom groups, watching TikToks, and more in order to learn what car seat would be best for her new two month old baby.
"You hear the horrible stories of kids that get hurt because they weren't secured into their car seat well enough or the car seat itself wasn't secure," she said.
To make an appointment to have your child's car seat inspected click here.