Car Seat Safety
Estimates say eight out of 10 child car seats are improperly installed. Young children who are correctly restrained in child safety seats have an 80 percent lower risk of fatal injury in the event of a motor vehicle crash than those who are unrestrained.
Car Seat Safety Checks
Car Seat Safety Checks educate parents on how to properly use a child car seat. Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians check car seats for families, fit children properly in their car seats, teach parents how to install a car seat and provide passenger safety information.
Upcoming Omaha-area car seat safety check events schedule
No appointment is necessary. Bring your child if possible; expectant parents are welcome. Additionally, bring your vehicle owner’s manual and your child safety seat with the owner’s manual.
If you can’t make it to a Car Seat Safety Check event, please call one of these Omaha-area inspection stations to make an appointment.
Replacing Your Child's Car Seat
Is your infant or child safety seat still safe to use? If it has been in an accident or its expiration date has passed, probably not.
Discontinue using a car seat if it has been in a moderate or severe crash. The forces in a collision can weaken the safety structures in a seat and sometimes cause unseen damage. This hidden damage may keep the car seat from properly protecting the child in future crashes. Seats that were in a minor crash may still be safe to use. If you are unsure, call the manufacturer of the seat.
You also should not use secondhand car seats. The seat may have been in an accident and have damage that you cannot see, or the seat may have been recalled.
Car Seat Recycling
Car seats do have expiration dates. Exposure to extreme conditions like heat and cold breaks down the plastic over time. Check the tag or bottom of the seat for the expiration date. If the seat is past the expiration date, you should replace it. If you don't see an expiration date, use six years after the manufacture date as the expiration date.
When your child has outgrown a car seat or it's no longer safe to use, consider recycling it. At least 90 percent of car seat material can be recycled. In the Omaha metro area, contact Offutt Collision Repair about its Child Safety Seat Recycling Program (PDF) or visit their website to learn more.
Mobile Apps for Smart Phones
NHTSA's SaferCar app allows users to search its 5-Star Safety Ratings for vehicles by make and model, locate car seat installation help, file a vehicle safety complaint, find recall information and subscribe to automatic notices about vehicle recalls.
Child Passenger Safety Technician Training
You can join the thousands of other Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) who empower parents and caregivers to properly secure their children in motor vehicles and keep them safe on the road. CPS Technicians put their knowledge to work through a variety of activities including in-vehicle child safety seat checks and short community presentations.
National certification helps to enhance the credibility and professionalism of all child passenger safety advocates and practitioners, the child passenger safety community and the organizations and programs that use the services of certified CPS Technicians. Training opportunities are available in Nebraska.
Click here if you would like to donate to the Injury Prevention Program.