There is a suggestion for most new parents, which is to go to the fire department to have their child's car seat installed if they are not sure how to install it safely. However, this isn't always the right thing to do, and there are more factors to consider.
One thing people don't always know is that not all fire stations, police stations or even hospitals or doctors' offices have a certified child passenger safety technician on site. This person, with the right certifications, would have up-to-date information on how to install a car seat correctly. Without the certification, they very well may be able to install it correctly, but there would be no guarantees of safety.
What should you do if you plan to have a car seat installed at a fire station or police station?
Make sure you ask if the person who will be installing the seat is certified. If the individual is not certified, ask if someone else on the team is and is willing to install the seat safely. If not, then you may wish to contact the manufacturer of the car seat to ask where you can go to have a technician install it for you correctly. That way, if you have questions, they can be answered.
Why is it a good idea to have a technician install the safety seat?
Once you have a technician install the base of the seat correctly, they'll also be able to show you how to remove (if the seat is removable) and reinstall the seat when necessary. The technician may also be able to help show you how to strap in your child correctly and how to seat them so that they are at the least risk of injury in a collision.
Accidents involving children are a leading cause of death for those between 1 and 13, so it's always very important to have the car seat that is appropriate for your child's age, weight and height. Going to a technician gives you a chance to make sure that you have the right seat, that it's installed correctly and that you're aware of when you need to upgrade to a new seat or when your child will be old enough, heavy enough or tall enough to go without.
Getting the right help will make sure your child stays safe if the worst is to happen. The right safety seat does save lives.