SaferCar App Helps With Child Safety Seats Too

If you've had a child within the last two decades, you're probably about as frustrated as we are with the complexity of installing child safety seats. Latch or seatbelt? Automatic locking retractor or emergency locking retractor? Belt locking clip or twisted belt stalk? According to Safe Kids USA, properly installed child safety seats reduce risk of injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in passenger cars.

While the milk crate full of bungee cords or duct tape in the garage might look like a tempting alternative to struggling with installing a child seat, the better option is using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new, free SaferCar app for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches to find a certified child passenger safety technician near you (NHTSA is working on an Android app). Those who don't have mobile Apple devices can search for a technician on the NHTSA website.

While the app has plenty of other features relating to vehicle safety, it also includes a child seat section. You can easily search for certified technicians near you by clicking "find nearest" or "search by ZIP code" if, for example, you want to help Grandma find a technician near her.

When I searched for a technician, I received a long list with technicians nearest to me at the top. It provides a quick reference for the technician's name, address, availability and phone number, plus the ability to instantly call or map a route to the location.

There are some new technologies coming in the near future to help minimize the difficulty of properly installing child safety seats. Until then, we must rely on trained technicians to teach us how to properly install child safety seats.

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Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars.  Email Kristin