Car Seat Inspections

Who can use this service?

Any school, organization or community group can request a presentation. Individuals with a referral from a social service provider are eligible for free car seats – but anyone can request a free car seat check.

Is there a charge for this service?

This service is provided free of charge.

What is the process?

Step 1: Call for an Appointment

Inspections are by appointment only. For an appointment, call (805) 781-5564.

When and where is this service offered?

Inspections are by appointment only. For more information, call the Health Promotion office at (805) 781-5564.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Health Campus - Annex

Monday - Friday 8-5

2180 Johnson Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I install my car seat?

Every car seat is different, so we recommend reading through your car seat’s owner’s manual before you attempt to install the seat. Additionally, you should check your car owner’s manual for any vehicle-specific information related to car seats.
 
Installing a car seat can be confusing and sometimes frustrating so we are here to help! Call us to schedule a free car seat inspection and we can help you install the seat in your car.

What are the current laws regarding child passenger safety in California?
  • Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall. The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat.
  • ​Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
  • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4’9” in height must be secured by a safety belt.
  • Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California's Mandatory Seat Belt law.
What makes a car seat safe?

The best seat is one that:

  1. Fits the child’s age, size, and developmental level.
  2. Fits the vehicle.
  3. The caregiver will use correctly each time.

A car seat works similarly to a bike helmet with a rigid shell to resist impact, shock-absorbing hard foam filling, plus some softer padding on the inside for comfort. They reduce the risk of infant death by 71%. (An adult’s seatbelt only reduces their risk of death by 50%). 

What are the differences between an infant, convertible and booster seat?

An infant car seat is the light, portable kind that easily clips in and out of the car and stroller. The average baby outgrows them between 10-14 months old. (Exactly when depends both on your baby’s size and the height and weight limits on the specific car seat.) It is always rear-facing, the safest position for baby.
 
A convertible car seat can be used either from birth OR from when your baby outgrows the infant car seat. It’s too heavy to tote around on an everyday basis and won’t fit in a stroller.
 
A booster car seat is for when your kid outgrows their convertible car seat but isn’t tall enough to use an adult-sized seat belt. You’ll typically transition a kid to their booster car seat when they’re between 40 and 65 pounds. They’ll stop using it between the ages of ten and twelve.

Why are there so many different types of car seats?

You may be overwhelmed by all the car seat options on the market, but that's because every child is different! Luckily that's why our trained specialists are here, and are able to help you determine the right one to suit your unique needs.
 
(Rest assured, though, all the seats currently available on the market pass the federal safety standards, and as a result, every seat can be considered safe and provides the basic level of safety protection required by US Federal law.)

Can you help me decide which car seat to buy?

Yes! Our technicians can help you determine the appropriate car seat based on your child's height and weight.

How much should I spend on a car seat?

Car seats range from $40-$1,000, but more expensive isn’t always better. Consumer Reports says that many mid-priced models work as well as or better than pricier ones, so you’re not necessarily going to make your baby safer by spending more (and, remember, all the seats currently available on the market pass the federal safety standards and thus ensure a basic standard of safety).

Where is the safest place in your car?

In most cars, the middle of the back seat is the safest spot for your car seat. This is because that is the point furthest from outside impact. However, if you’re dealing with two car seats or a small car, there might not be room in the middle. Consult your car owner’s manual for help with locating airbags in your vehicle and tips on where to install your car seat.