Car Seat Inspections

The Beavercreek Township Fire Department offers complimentary child car seat inspections and installations by appointment only.
Please call the Beavercreek Township Fire Adminstration Office at 937-426-1213 for more information on how to make an appointment.

Car Seat Safety for Babies Under 2


As a parent you want to keep your baby safe. By using the right car seat the right way on every ride, you can help keep your baby safe on the way.
Here are the top tips to follow when using a rear-facing car seat. Keep your baby rear facing for as long as possible.

Top Tips

  • For the best possible protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing child safety seat in a back seat for as long as possible - up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. The "12 months and 20 pounds" rule that many parents cite when turning their child forward-facing in the car is actually the minimum size and age requirement for that change. New recommendations suggest that children remain rear-facing to age 2.
  • Keep a baby rear-facing in a convertible seat until he or she reaches the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. For many children that will be 30, 35 or even 40 pounds. Many kids will be over age 2 when they reach that weight. Rear-facing occupants are safest.
  • Use your baby’s car seat rear-facing and semi-reclined to no more than 45 degrees, so the baby’s head stays in contact with the seat and the baby’s airway stays open. Read the car seat instructions.
  • Make sure the buckled harness straps that keep your baby properly positioned and secured in the car seat fit snugly. Loose harness straps don’t provide maximum protection. Be sure the harness is tight enough that you cannot pinch webbing at the shoulder.
  • Position the shoulder straps through the slots at or below your baby’s shoulders.
  • Adjust the chest clip to armpit level.
  • Use either the car’s seat belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat into the car. Do not use both systems at the same time.
  • Your car seat should not move more than one inch side to side or front to back. Grab the car seat at the safety belt or LATCH path to test it.
  • Every car seat has an expiration date. Generally, it is six years from manufacture. Many have the expiration date stamped on the seat. Contact the manufacturer of your specific seat to find out what its expiration date is.
  • Never buy a used car seat if you do not know its full history. Never use a car seat that has been in a crash. Avoid seats sold at flea markets or yard sales or online.
  • Do not use any products that did not come from the manufacturer in or with the car seat. Car seat fabrics meet strict fire safety codes.
  • Add-on toys can injure your child in a crash.
  • Find the frontal airbags in your vehicle by checking the owner’s manual. Never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an active frontal airbag. Children are always safest in a back seat.
  • Have your car seat checked by a currently certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it is properly installed.
  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle - not even for a minute.

Car Seat and Booster Seat Safety for Little Kids


Top Tips
Top Tips on properly installing and using forward-facing car seats for children:

  • Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
  • Use a forward-facing car seat correctly and until the harness no longer fits (convertible or combo seat) in a back seat every time your child rides in a car. Many harnesses today serve kids to 50, 60, 80 or even 100 pounds.
  • Use the car seat with a harness that's right for your child's weight and height. Children are weighed and measured at every doctor's visit, so be sure to keep track.
  • Put forward-facing harnesses through the slots so they are even with or above the child’s shoulders. Some seats require use of the top slots when the seat is forward-facing, so check instructions.
  • Be sure the buckled harness is tight, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the shoulder.
  • Adjust the chest clip to armpit level.
  • Use the car’s safety belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat into the car. Do not use both at the same time.
  • Your car seat should not move more than one inch side to side or front to back. Grab the car seat at the safety belt path or LATCH path to test it.
  • Use a top tether if both your vehicle and car seat are equipped. Tethers limit the forward motion of your child’s head in a crash.
  • Have your car seat checked by a currently certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it’s properly installed.
  • Do not allow children to play with seat belts. Treat them as you would any rope or cord.
  • Be sure all occupants wear seat belts correctly every time. Children learn from adult role models.
  • Restrain all children in age- and weight-appropriate child restraints when in a car with the motor running. That will limit access to power windows. Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
  • If you have a heavier or taller child, find a car seat with a harness that fits larger children. Some seats hold children up to 80 or even 100 pounds.
    • Take the next step to a booster seat when you answer “yes” to any of these questions:

      1. Does your child exceed the car seat’s height or weight limits?
      2. Are your child’s shoulders above the car seat’s top harness slots?
      3. Are the tops of your child’s ears above the top of the car seat?

      Click HERE for basic car seat guidelines.
      Read more here on up to date car seat recall information.
      You can also read more here on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.