When I first learned that nationwide 7 out of 10 infant/child car seats are used improperly, and that more than 95% of them in Alameda county are used or installed in correctly, I was a bit taken back. I thought, how can this be? After having jumped through several hoops, I now know how hard it is to get what on surface is a simple task done! I am not a procrastinator, but even as I approach my due date with only 2 weeks remaining, my husband and I still don’t have the car seats installed and inspected by trained technicians.
Seatcheck.org, a website that we were referred to in our childcare class, doesn’t actually work. When I attempt to use the Inspection Locator on the homepage, I get a failure regardless of whether I input the zip code or the state as instructed:
We bought the car seat from Babies R Us, but they don’t have a car seat tech that can help us.
We called the California Highway Patrol, but no one answered the phone the several times we tried.
We called the local AAA, but their next available car seat install event is 3 weeks away and not so local to us. At least we could do it if we can wait that long, so that’s not too bad… but we keep trying.
We were given a Bay Area Car Sear Check Up schedule, but the times and location were not convenient at all. Most of them involves taking time off work and driving far away.
We called a local baby store, Baby World. They will install car seats that are purchased through them for free, but otherwise we need to make an appointment and pay $45 for the 20 minutes available the next available Saturday.
We had better luck at a less local Bay Area baby store, Lullaby Lane, which has a more available in house car seat tech, who offered to inspect our installation for free if we go in. If we go in on a Saturday and pay $20, they will teach us how to install a car seat correctly. I went ahead and booked that appointment. This is the soonest I can get things done before my due date and it costs the least amount of money.
I am very tempted to encourage my husband to get certified in car sear installation so he can make some money part time installing car seats for parents like us!