Free Car Seat Check This Week in San Jose

I can probably count my number of proud, I’m-doing-this-parenting-thing-right moments on one hand. One of them came during a local mother’s club car seat check. It was back when I had only one child, safely nestled into the back middle seat of my new car. I pulled up, disconnected the car seat as I was told and waited my turn. The nice fireman/paramedic came over to reinstall the seat and he had some trouble, even telling me that the LATCH system didn’t work. I nervously asked if I could try, and I went about my work of buckling in the seat, then tightening the straps, making the seat so secure, it felt like it had been cemented into the car.

“Hmm,” the fireman said, slowly inspecting my detail. He shock the seat and tried to move it. Only then did he look at me to say that it was one of the best installed car seats he’d seen.

The fireman moved onto the next car as I said goodbye to a friend, but before I could leave, the fireman called me over. He was having the same LATCH problem in a similar SUV and he said he wanted to “test” me. I got into the car and connected the seat without breaking a sweat. The fireman and the other mom looked at me, then the fireman finally said that he’d been doing these checks for years, and was even certified, but that he was going home and I could finish the night for him. Thankfully he was joking – or at least I hoped he was because I blushed and left before I really had to help. Before the event, I’d been sure that I was wrong, only because I doubted a lot of my technical skills as a mom. This evening changed all that.

Get that feeling of car seat superiority for yourself…or at least peace of mind that your kids are safely seated in your car. A fancy car seat doesn’t do much good if it’s incorrectly installed. This Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a free car seat and booster seat check is being hosted at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose by AAA and Dorel Juvenile Group. For an appointment, contact Susan DeLaura at (408) 574-2220. In addition to the seat check, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will provide parents with safety tips for childproofing their vehicles. That fireman may not have been able to install my car seat without my help, but he did teach me a lot about preventing projectiles in case of an accident. Those cute pull down shades that attach to your window? Yeah, those can seriously hurt you or your child in an accident. Knowledge is power, plus, in this case, it’s free.

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