Skip the frustration and follow these Kidcast tips on proper car seat installation

Installing car seats can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenting young children, but it’s using them properly is also one of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe.

Kristine Sorensen talks with AAA safety advisor Terri Rae Anthony about what parents need to know and how they can get help from experts. Here’s their edited conversation.

Kristine: What’s the first thing parents should do?

Terri Rae: You have to find the seat that fits the child. You go on the child’s height and weight, and you want to be sure the seat fits in your vehicle too. Get out your vehicle’s owner’s manual and find out how to install a car seat in your car. Every car is different, so instructions will be different for every vehicle. It’s something that shouldn’t just sit in your glove compartment. You have to get it out and use it while installing your seat.

Kristine: Another manual you really need to use is the car seat manual, right?

Terri Rae: Correct. It will give you instructions on everything you need to know to use the car seat properly. It will answer questions you have and provide phone numbers for more help.

Kristine: We hear about car seat recalls on the news a lot.  What should parents know?

Terri Rae: Parents should register their car seats. That way, the company will send a notice if there’s a recall on how to fix the seat or have it replaced.

Kristine: When should parents install the seat?

Terri Rae: If you are having a baby and are a first-time parent, you’re going to want to go to a fitting station or someone who checks car seats to get a lesson on how to do it before you have the baby. A lot of people think these check-up events are installation events, but they really aren’t. They’re to teach parents how to install the seat themselves because chances are, you’re going to be moving the seat, and you need to know how to do it yourself.

Where to go for help:

Here’s a list from AAA of places to get your car seat checked and get help with proper installation. All require a  scheduled appointment.

AAA East Central: 5900 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. 412-365-7211

Bellevue Fire Dept.: 537 Bayne Ave., Bellevue. 412-766-7455

North Versailles Police Dept: 1401 Greensburg Ave., North Versailles. 412-823-1111

Green Tree Police Dept.: 10 W. Manilla Ave.,  Green Tree. 412-921-8624

Parkview EMS: 200 South Margery Dr., O’Hara. 412-449-1080

Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS & Bureau of Police:  Public Safety Fitting Station, 220 22nd St., Strip District. 412-255-2450

Penn Township Ambulance: 1030 Sandy Hill Road, Irwin. 724-744-4112 

Cranberry Township EMS: 20727 Route 19, Suite 51, Cranberry Township. 724-776-4480. ext. 1911

Peters Township Fire Dept.: 245 East McMurray Road, McMurray. 724-941-4176

Eastern Area Ambulance: 192 11th St., Turtle Creek. 412-829-8155

Quality EMS: 222 Brickyard Road, Mars. 724-625-6400

McCandless Franklin Park Ambulance Authority: 9925 Grubbs Road, Wexford. 412-367-5883

Richland EMS: 4009 Dickey Road, Gibsonia. 724-443-3030, ext. 2

Medical Rescue Team South: 315 Cypress Way, South Hills. 412-343-5111

Ross West View EMS, 5325 Perry Hwy., Ross. 412-931-8200

Moon Township Police Dept.: 1000 Beaver Grade Road, Moon. 412-262-5000

Shaler EMS: 339 Wetzel Road, Glenshaw. 412-487-6590

North Fayette Police Dept.: 400 North Branch Road, Oakdale. 412-787-8900

Turtle Creek: 125 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek. 412-823-1200

North Strabane Fire Dept.: 2550 Washington Road; Canonsburg. 724-745-1010

West Deer Police Dept.: 109 East Union Road, Cheswick. 724-265-1100