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Child Passenger Safety Information

Adult buckling a child into a car seat inside a vehicle with sunlight, with the words "Car Seat Installations" displayed.

Arcata Fire District is proud to have invested the time to provide our communities with access to a Certified Car Seat Safety Technician. 

Our Certified Technician was trained by the National Child Passenger Safety Certification team, a program of Safe Kids Worldwide. Safe Kids worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to reduce unintentional injuries to children ages 0-14 and build equitable and sustained systems that support injury prevention. 

Our Certified Technician isn't just here to install your car seat and send you on your way - they are trained to teach YOU how to install it safely while accommodating your child's height, weight, age and any special circumstances. 

Here are some things you can do to be prepared for a car seat checkup with our Technician...


 Before the Car Seat Checkup:

  • Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS technician install the car seat. They're trained to teach you.
  • Know your child's current weight and height.
  • Using the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner’s manual, try to install the car seat into your vehicle prior to your appointment
  • Tip! Check the index of your vehicle owner’s manual for “child safety seats”.
  • Be sure to bring the car seat instruction manual AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to your appointment.
  • If possible, bring your child with you as well as another caregiver to help while you are learning.
  • Be prepared to learn. The CPS Technician is trained to educate you to install and use your car seat properly in your vehicle


During the Car Seat Checkup: 

  • Ask to see proof of your technician’s current certification.
  • This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on your car seat and vehicle. The technician will take all the time you need until you feel comfortable that your car seat is used and installed correctly.
  • During the checkup, a CPS Technician will:
    • Fill out a car seat check form to document the process (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, etc.). The form may be electronic or on paper.
    • Review car seat selection appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height as well as review factors affectiproper use.
    • Review the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that both are being followed correctly.
    • Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used.
    • Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.
    • Guide your installation of the car seat. You are encouraged to ask to learn how to install the car seat in different seating positions with different installation techniques.
    • Discuss the next steps for your child, such as when to move to the next type of car seat.
    • Discuss your state laws and best practice recommendations for occupant  safety.
    • Discuss the benefits of everyone riding properly restrained, including all adults.
    • Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
    • Answer any questions you may have, so ask away.

After the Car Seat Checkup:

  • Did you perform the installation?
  • Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?
  • Were your questions answered? If not, were you given direction as to who you should contact or will the CPS Technician follow up with you?


Now you're ready to make your Car Seat Checkup appointment! Please be prepared with all of the information above before calling or emailing.  

Office line: (707) 825-2000


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