Car Seat Checks
The Grand Rapids Police Department provides accurate, up-to-date information from NHTSA-Certified Child Passenger Safety technicians and instructors about how to keep your most precious cargo safe. We also offer experienced, private car seat installation lessons in the Grand Rapids area.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and NHTSA published new car seat recommendations. In short, the new recommendations state that children should remain rear-facing until at least age 2, but preferably until they are too tall or too heavy for their convertible car seat's height or weight limit. Kids should then remain in a forward-facing 5-point harness car seat until they exceed its height or weight limit. Then kids should remain in a booster until they can pass the 5-Step test (See Below). The bottom line: Don't rush to "graduate" your child to the next type of car seat (unless he is too heavy or too tall for his current seat), as this is a demotion in safety.
Annually, the Grand Rapids Police Department gives out free convertible car seats for those who meet the guidelines provided through the Itasca County WIC program.
Car seat installations and inspections are available to Grand Rapids residents and employees of Grand Rapids businesses. Please contact Grand Rapids Community Service Officer at 218-326-3464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The 5-Step Test:
Put your child in the car and have her sit like an adult, without a booster. Buckle the seat belt over her. Now answer these questions:
Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you can answer "yes" to every question, your child is okay to ride without a booster. If you answer "no" to any of these questions, your child still needs a booster in order to be safe.