Keeping children safe in vehicles
New parents and those expecting a baby may find child safety seats daunting to install and use in vehicles, especially when trying to secure the straps around the shoulders of a screaming child or one who is sleeping.

They can get assistance from the Northville Fire Department, which has several members trained as nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) through the Safe Kids Worldwide organization. The instruction is based on safe practices advanced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Child Passenger Safety Board.

These members help parents (or babysitters and grandparents) by reviewing their use of the seat in their car, truck or SUV to ensure they are installing it correctly. They also teach them about all aspects of these important, live-saving seats.

During the appointment, the CPS technicians ensure that the proper seating position is being used; check the car seat for recalls, damage and any expiration date; and watch as the parent or guardian installs the car seat using either the seat belt or LATCH system.

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Before the Car Seat Check-up:

• Know your your child's weight and height, and bring your child with you. (The technician will make sure the seat is a proper fit.)

• Those who are expecting a baby can schedule a session before their baby is born and return with their newborn.

• Install the seat in your vehicle. Bring the instructions that came with the child car seat and the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual regarding car seats.

• Consider whether you need to ask another person to attend the session with you so they can watch the child while you learn.

This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on your car seat and vehicle. After attending the session, participants should feel comfortable that their car seat has been installed correctly and they know how to use it.

To schedule an appointment, call 248-449-9902, and let us know your choice of location: Northville or Plymouth fire station.  One of our CPS technicians will then be in touch to arrange a date and time for your visit.