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Frequently Asked Questions  

Choosing a Professional Service

Is How-To-SAFETY certified through Safe Kids Worldwide?

How-To-SAFETY technicians are nationally certified (and re-certified biannually) in Child Passenger Safety through the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program created by NHTSA, in cooperation with the National Child Passenger Safety Board and Safe Kids Worldwide. 

We are additionally trained in "Safe Travels for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Health Care Needs", a curriculum developed by National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Healthcare Needs and the Automotive Safety Program at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Why should I have my car seat professionally inspected or installed?

Road injuries are the leading type of preventable injuries and deaths to children. It has been found that 9 out of 10 car seats are not used properly.  Only when used correctly, car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can reduce the risk of death in children by as much as 71 percent.  Let a certified CPST teach you how to install your car seat properly and how to keep your child safer in the car.

How hard can it be? It's just a car seat!

It gets complicated!  Child car seats and vehicle seats vary in geometry and design - each having their own particular distinctions.  There are many considerations and adjustments that often need to be made with every individual installation. It's no surprise that parents call us after following the manuals, because the install "still seems wrong". 

Car seats are unlike any other baby gear. They are a sophisticated and complicated pieces of safety engineering. Car seat engineering is based on complex crash dynamics and high-speed tests. They are crash tested under very specific conditions, and for them to work as they were intended, it is important to use them with their engineering in mind.

Buckle Up for Life, a community-based education program, takes a humorous approach to the frustrations of installing a car seat with this PSA: 

Buckle Up for Life: It's time we all get it right.

Set pride aside and let a professional check your install. Even small adjustments can make the difference in a moderate to severe crash. Don't take chances!

Why trust How-To-SAFETY with your precious cargo?

Just the way you choose a pediatrician for your child's health - by finding a qualified, knowledgeable, and up-to-date professional. When it comes to your child's safety on the road, you look to us for ExpertiseService, and Convenience. We work with you on YOUR schedule and your location. 

Child passenger safety is very technical, comprehensive, and dynamic. Changes in the field happen so quickly, that we continue to learn something new every day! We are always staying on top of it - through industry events, conferences, continuing education, seminars, updates, and networking with other technicians, leading professionals, and caregivers.

We come prepared! Before your appointment, we will again overview your specific car seat and vehicle owner's manuals (because every child restraint and vehicle is different), so that we don't waste your time searching through manuals during the appointment. 

We take the time to teach you!  You will know how to install and use your child's seat correctly every time.  We will discuss many car safety related topics, how to keep your child safe as they grow, answer questions, and we are always open to helping you remotely if any future questions arise.

Can I just go to my local firehouse or police station to have my car seat installed?

NYC Firefighters and Police Officers are NOT Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST).  FDNY and NYPD in New York City are no longer permitted to assist with car seat installations.

FDNY and NYPD are great when it comes to fighting fires, preventing crime, rescuing, and general public safety, however they have no training when it comes to car seat safety. When it comes to car seats, fire and police stations often make critical mistakes and inadvertently give unsafe advise. CPSTs share a common goal with Firefighters and Police Officers - that is public safety! 

Best thing to do if you are seeking car seat help, is to go to someone qualified (a certified CPST). 

*Other areas within US, may have a certified police officer, fire fighter, or a CPST on staff. Check by searching for fitting stations in your area on

Why would I pay for service when I can find a government car seat check for free?

How-To-SAFETY participates to help with some free local car seat check events, usually hosted by NYC DOT. Their events are typically several times a year, lasting several hours, at their Manhattan location. Contact us to find out in which of these upcoming events we will be participating.  For your convenience, we add NYC DOT car seat check events and information to our calendar of events

We do not discourage caregivers from visiting other CPSTs for their car seat check.  However, many government employed CPSTs become certified as a part of their job, making their available time for car seat checks very limited, therefore, scheduling an appointment time that also works for you may be a challenge.  
How-To-SAFETY technicians are actively involved in CPS every day - it is our primary focus.

My friend has three children and installed all of their car seats. Can’t I just have my friend help me install my car seat?

Other experienced parents can give some great parenting advise, about other things!  With such high installation error rates (90% of seats not used correctly), it is most likely that even seasoned parents could also benefit from a professional car seat inspection. When it comes to your child's safety, it's not worth risking it.

Choosing a Seat

What is the safest car seat?

The best seat is the one that fits your child, your car, your needs and your budget.  It is the seat you can use correctly every time. 

How-To-SAFETY does not promote any car seat brand, but we might be able to suggest some options that will fit your needs better than others. 

Remember, the most expensive car seat incorrectly installed is MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than the cheapest car seat installed properly.

Learn more about Car Seat Basics and choosing the appropriate seat for your child.

Can I use a second-hand car seat or a seat that has been in a crash? What about recalls?

Read about how to tell if a car seat is safe.

What to Expect During Service

Does my child have to be present at the car seat lesson?

Your child can be present, but it is not a must.  Read more about how to prepare for, what to expect and what to bring to a car seat check.

How do Suggested Rates work?

Although How-To-Safety is NOT a free service, our goal is to help prevent child injuries and deaths!  We do not want to discourage parents and caregivers from getting potentially lifesaving help due to service costs.  When it comes to paying for our time and expertise, if you are unable to pay our suggested rates in full, you can use them as a guide to making a payment that fits your budget. Please inform us if you are unable to pay our rates in full when you are scheduling your appointment.  We are a private entity and are NOT funded through any grants or programs (governmental or otherwise).

If you want to reduce risk, then having a professional check your car seat is the best investment for protecting your child.

What is a Quick Check?

Feel that you are already very knowledgeable about  car seat safety and your installation is already correct?  If you just want our professionals to check it, so you can know for sure, you can schedule us for a Quick Car Seat Checkup. This type of appointment should typically not exceed 15 minutes during which a CPST will check that the installation and use is correct, and give some quick pointers on any minor adjustments that need to be made, and provide helpful take-home materials. However, if your installation requires critical changes, or the appointment takes anywhere between 30-90 minutes, it is no longer a Quick Check.

Contact us for more information or to schedule a car seat check.