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Old 04-10-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: Tips for tighter install?

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Originally Posted by justineybean View Post
I have been educated several times in the past. I needed help with knowing whether the seat was tight enough and he could easily pull on the seat and tell me if it was moving too much. I feel confident about my ability to properly install the seat. I didn't need him to take it out and re-install it to show me how. Also I feel like you can educate someone without assuming they don't know how to do it and starting from the beginning.
Yes, you can educate someone without starting from the beginning. However, for a "proper" car seat check, the tech should go through a process that starts with taking the seat out and doing/teaching the installation from start to finish. Part of the reason is that there may be problems with the seat (or the installation) that you can only determine by taking it out and giving it a once-over.

Now, if you just dropped by the fire station and specifically asked if they could check if it was tight enough, and all they told you was, basically, "yes, it's tight enough," then I don't think that necessarily means that the person you saw was not a good tech. If someone comes to see me to check for tightness, I will encourage them to go through the whole check process, but I'm not going to absolutely insist on it.

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:10 PM   #12
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Re: Tips for tighter install?

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Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
Yes, you can educate someone without starting from the beginning. However, for a "proper" car seat check, the tech should go through a process that starts with taking the seat out and doing/teaching the installation from start to finish. Part of the reason is that there may be problems with the seat (or the installation) that you can only determine by taking it out and giving it a once-over.

Now, if you just dropped by the fire station and specifically asked if they could check if it was tight enough, and all they told you was, basically, "yes, it's tight enough," then I don't think that necessarily means that the person you saw was not a good tech. If someone comes to see me to check for tightness, I will encourage them to go through the whole check process, but I'm not going to absolutely insist on it.
A CPST should always at least try/offer to take the seat out so that they can personally see the expiration date with their own eyes and so they can also see the model numbers to check for recalls (a very important aspect of being a CPST)! Also to check for stress marks in the shell that could indicate that the seat had been in an accident or even damaged unitentionally while being transported in a trunk, stored in a garage, etc. Many times straps man not be threaded correctly, may have accidently caught on something and gotten frayed or a whole host of other things. A true CPST is nationally certified and signs off on the check form that things have been properly seen to. If they do not follow protocol and later down the road the person is in an accident and the child is injured it *could* possibly, in this sue happy society, fall back on the CPST who did not properly perform their duties.
If the parent refuses/declines the request that the seat be taken out, checked, then reinstalled it should be noted on the form and signed off on. Firstly as a point to show the parents that every aspect of the safety check is taken seriously and secondly as a record to protect the CPST from liability.
If you have gone to a fire station/police station to have someone "check" a seat and they do not at least TRY to educate you (even if you are already educated) and they do not follow the standard protocol of having you remove the seat and them physically checking it for obvious damage/misuse and checking the model numbers against the recall list, then chances are that they are not a CSPT and know nothing more about whether it is installed correctly/tightly enough than you do.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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Re: Tips for tighter install?

The check protocol has nothing to do with how educated you may be. Safe Kids and NHTSA put together a curriculum for techs and protocols and procedures for us to follow. I would not trust someone that did not follow these protocols and procedures to not cut corners elsewhere.

I give every person the same check no matter how much knowledge they seem to have. Every single time I have had a parent tell me that they were not worried about a seat (belonging to a sibling, for example, rather than the seat they came to have checked) I have found dangerous mistakes. One of those seats was installed with a LATCH strap that was not even in the belt path but completely behind the seat. The mom had assumed that dad or the babysitter had installed it correctly when in fact it was not installed at all.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:27 AM   #14
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Re: Tips for tighter install?

Oh, I see. I didn't mean to seem defensive. I understand about protocol - thanks for letting me know the standard procedure. I have actually had a friend who was a fireman and was certified as a CPST but definitely did NOT know what he was doing (he told me he didn't think my convertible seat could be rear-facing and I should just turn my baby around who was barely 1 year - yikes!) so I certainly know what you're talking about.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #15
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Re: Tips for tighter install?

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Originally Posted by monica-m View Post
The check protocol has nothing to do with how educated you may be. Safe Kids and NHTSA put together a curriculum for techs and protocols and procedures for us to follow. I would not trust someone that did not follow these protocols and procedures to not cut corners elsewhere.

I give every person the same check no matter how much knowledge they seem to have. Every single time I have had a parent tell me that they were not worried about a seat (belonging to a sibling, for example, rather than the seat they came to have checked) I have found dangerous mistakes. One of those seats was installed with a LATCH strap that was not even in the belt path but completely behind the seat. The mom had assumed that dad or the babysitter had installed it correctly when in fact it was not installed at all.
The bolded - I was just responding to the PP who said the role of the CPST was to educate parents, not to check seats and do installs.

... Thanks for your input. That makes a lot of sense.
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