If you, like me, get nervous/agitated every time you read one of those PSA suggesting that you have probably put your car seat in wrong (like this one, or this one, or this one), or if you — also like me — drive an older car that doesn’t have the built-in car seat attachers (is there a name for those things?), then you may appreciate a reminder that you can take your car to professionals who know exactly how to secure that thing, and will do it for you (for FREE). They can also just reassure you that you’ve done it correctly, and give you pointers on installing it next time. Depending on where you go, checks are run by the state police or CHOP and its partners. Here’s a listing of upcoming car-seat fitting days from CHOP and crew (you can register for a time online); here’s one from the state troopers (you can call to make an appointment).
I will say that when we couldn’t figure out how to do the install in our (pretty old) Honda and when our mechanic friend wouldn’t touch that project (liability), we took it to the Limerick fire station for one of the CHOP check days, and the experts couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. (And there is absolutely no way we could have done it properly ourselves.) So: a totally worth-it little chore.
Also, related: Here’s a great little page from CHOP on all things car seat-safety related — videos on installing, the rules for seats by age, a safety checklist, and so forth. It’s helpful!