The New Milford Police Department is pleased to offer free Child Seat Inspections to any parent, grandparent or caregiver of a child who resides in New Milford. If you wish to have your seat inspected, contact ChildSeats@newmilfordnjpd.org. Here you can ask a question or make an appointment with one of our certified techs.
You have to make an appointment before coming down to the police station, as there might not be a tech working, or the tech working might not be available for an inspection.
What should you, as a caregiver, expect from a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician?
The car seat installation experience is an interactive one. As the caregiver, you should leave confident that your child’s seat is installed correctly AND that you are comfortable reinstalling and using it correctly. To ensure that you have the best experience you should prepare for an education.
- If expecting, schedule an appointment 1 to 2 months prior to Mom’s due date. Many CPS Technicians and their agencies require appointments several weeks in advance and some moms deliver early.
- If your child is already born, know your child's weight and height.
- If your child is already born, bring your child with you. If possible, also bring another adult to help watch the child while you are learning.
- Using the Child Car Seat Instructions, install the seat into your vehicle prior to your appointment.
- Look up “Child Safety Seats” in your Vehicle Owner’s Manual. You will learn how a child’s car seat should be installed in YOUR car. The Car Seat Manual may not reference the requirements specific to your vehicle.
- Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to your appointment! Also register your car seat with the manufacturer so you will be notified about any recalls for your seat.
- Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS Technician install the car seat. They're trained to teach you, not install it for you.
This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the car seat(s) and the vehicle. The CPS Technician should take all the time necessary to ensure that you feel competent and confident in re-securing the car seat into the vehicle and re-buckling your child into the car seat on your own.
Card your tech! Ask to see proof of his or her current certification.
During the check up, a competent CPS Technician will:
- Fill out a checklist form (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, if any, etc.).
- Review car seat selection appropriate for your child’s age, size, and review factors affecting proper use.
- Review the Car Seat Instructions and the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with the caregiver and ensure that both are being followed correctly.
- Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used, especially when using LATCH.
- Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.
- Have you install the car seat(s) correctly using either the seat belt or LATCH system. You are encouraged to ask to learn how to install the seat with either options or in different seating positions.
- Discuss the next steps for each child, such as when to move to the next type of car seat.
- Discuss the benefits of everyone riding properly restrained, including all adults.
- Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
- Discuss your state laws and best practice recommendations for occupant safety.
After the check up, ensure you can say yes to ALL of these questions:
Child Seat Guidelines
- Did you perform the installation?
- Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?
- Were your questions answered? If not, were you given direction as to who you should contact or will the CPS Technician follow up with you?
It is important that every child is properly restrained at all times while in a vehicle. There are many choices in restraint systems and it is up to the parent to select one that is appropriate for both their child and their vehicle. While we do not recommend any one seat over another, we are happy to offer you these following guidelines while selecting and using a child restraint system:
Child Passenger Safety Law - New Jersey Legislation - P.L. 2015, c.50
The following recommendations will provide the safest way to transport your child according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, it will ensure compliance to the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law. (Title 39:3-76.2a)
Any child under the age of 8 years old and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as follows in the rear seat of a motor vehicle:
- A child under the age of 2 years and 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear-facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.
- A child under the age of 4 years and 40 pounds shall be secured as described in (a) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing seat, then in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
- A child under the age of 8 and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as described in (a) or (b) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing or forward-facing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.
- A child over 8 years of age or 57 inches in height must be properly secured by a seat belt.
If there are no rear seats, the child shall be secured as described above in the front seat except that no child shall be secured in a rear-facing seat in the front seat of any vehicle that is equipped with an active passenger-side airbag. The aforementioned is acceptable if the airbag is de-activated.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States and a global epidemic around the world. www.Safekids.org
It is important to know if your car seat is on a recall list. Every seat on a recall list can be found at the following websites.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 1-888-327-4236
American Association of Pediatrics
The AAP offer a similar car seat guide as above. They also answer some specific problems such as transporting premature babies of children with special needs.
National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs 1-800/620-0143
For more information and a list of car safety seats available for children with special needs, visit www.aap.org/healthtopics/carseatsafety.cfm.
Remember that properly securing your child is the law! It does not matter who you are, where you live, how you drive, or what kind of car you drive, seat belts save lives and child seats save children’s lives.