Roadside Chat - Babies don't come with a manual. Car seats do.

9-16 babies dont come with a manualMost of us would do everything in our power to protect our children. From the first time you install an infant car seat, one of the keys to child passenger safety is having your kid in the correct seat and having that seat installed properly. 

How do you know which car seat is the right one for your child? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website ( to help you determine which seat is best for your child. Routinely check the website to see when it is safe to “graduate” your child to the next type/style of car seat. This determination takes into account your child’s age, height, and weight.

Once you have chosen a car seat, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. With improved safety features, some car seats can be a little intimidating to install. The internet can be an additional resource. Check YouTube for instructional videos for the installation of your particular brand and model of car seat. If you’re still not comfortable installing the seat yourself or would just like to have someone check your installation, many local fire departments offer free child safety seat inspections and installations. Contact your local fire department to see if they offer this service. You can also go to to see if there is a certified installer in your area.

In Iowa in 2022, there have been 235 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of five since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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