Need help installing a car seat? Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue can help

It’s National Emergency Medical Services Week, and Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Station No. 1 spent Wednesday helping new parents properly install their car seats.

Infant seats, toddler seats and other child restraint systems are critical for preventing injury and death, said Creative Child Development Learning Center Assistant Director Arlisa Strong.

TFR Firefighter Billy Wharton said between the seat and the back of most cars is an indicator for hooking the latch of the car seat.

The seat should be installed tight enough that you can grab the base and shake the rest of the car.

“It’s in the gray, you do not want the red showing,” Wharton said. “We know we have it level because with an infant you want it to be at a 45-degree angle so when you put the seat in it cradles the head.”

According to Alabama’s child safety seat laws, all toddlers younger than 1 or weighing less than 20 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing restraint. 

In Alabama, children should transition to a front-facing convertible seat until they reach 5 years or 40 pounds. After that, they can use booster seats until they turn 6.

All car seats feature federal labels with instructions on the side of the seat and come with a manual.

But if you’re lacking in confidence, you can swing by just about any fire station, where firefighters will take a look at your car and the car seat manual to ensure you’ve done everything properly.

“It is so nice that here in the city of Tuscaloosa, parents can go out to our local police station, fire station, and even the health department to gain knowledge of how to properly install seats,” Strong said.

For more information, check out Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue’s website.

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