Car Seat Safety

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joshua Barry, Family Advocacy Element Chief
  • 52nd Medical Group
The joys of parenthood are endless, but they come with concerns for the well-being of your little one. One of the concerns that many parents, or soon-to-be-parents, have is about car seat safety. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST), there are several common questions I have received about car seat safety. Today’s market can be overwhelming with all of the choices, measurements, bells and whistles, and how to meet your child’s car seat needs. The cost can range from $40 to more than $400. 
Two questions often asked are: What is the difference between them, and is one better than the other? There are several resources available for a parent out there, however, two resources that can be referenced to provide insight and information about car seat selection are, and These sites will walk you through the different seat types: Infant Car Seat (Rear Facing Only), Convertible Seat (rear facing and forward facing seats), or the All-in-one (from rear to forward facing and then to a booster), or the booster seat. Each of these types of seat fits a different age, size, and developmental level of a child. By using the ‘Find a Car Seat’ feature on the website it will help you decide what type of car seat is right for your child based on age, weight and height. This website has many features to help you decide on the perfect car seat for your child.

Additionally, a concern that has been expressed by many parents is whether it is safe to use a used car seat. On the Safercar website there is a checklist to help with making this decision. If you are considering using a second-hand car seat, referencing this checklist is something to help you, as the parent, make an informed decision. This checklist will not tell you if it is safe to use the seat, but says the second-hand seat may be okay to use if it meets the items on the checklist. Some items discussed on the checklist are the history of the car seat including whether it has been in a crash or not, ability to check the recalls on the seat, whether the recalls have been corrected, and does it have all its original parts. Also, does the car seat come with an original instruction manual from the manufacturer.

Should you need additional information or resources about car seat safety, Family Advocacy Officer, Capt Joshua Barry, is also a Child Passenger Safety Technician and is happy to assist you in all of your car seat safety needs! He can be reached at DSN: 452-8279 or