Friday June 28, 2019 // Afternoon Nap Time
A little preamble that has nothing to do with the topic of this article:
My newborn kiddo is asleep on my chest. His little hat is struggling to stay on as I struggle to stay still enough to keep him asleep. After twenty minutes scrolling through Twitter and Instagram I think I’m ready to “be productive” but it’s hard when you basically only have your thumbs free. So, I’m going to attempt to write this on my phone. Okay. On with what I want to write about…
The weeks leading up to my LO’s birth felt like they were moving at the speed of light. The to-do list was never ending as you can never be truly ready for your first kid. One item we definitely wanted to make sure we got done was to get our car seat installation inspected. Where I live in Northern Virginia, specifically in Loudoun County, there are three options to my knowledge.
Please note I’m just a guy who did a little bit of Internet research and asked around and this is what I know. Also please note #3 below will be most useful for most Loudoun County residents so feel free to skip down to there!
1) Go to car installation events in Fairfax. About once a month Fairfax County does a big event where you can get your car seat installation checked. Here’s the link to the calendar and details on fairfaxcounty.gov.
If you’re like me and don’t want to make the drive out to Fairfax or miss the last event before your LO is here then you have two more options.
When I called they gave me a different number to call. So I called it and was told that this program is for Leesburg residents only. Whether that’s true or not I’m not sure. Whether you can just say you are one and get it inspected anyway, I’m not sure either. And I’m sorry I lost the number… a lot has happened the past few weeks. 😅
I ended up filling out the form and emailing them. About 24-36 hours later I got a response asking me about the details of my car and car seat. Then they sent me a couple options for when they’re available. I choose the closest date (5:00 PM on a Wednesday).
When you go, park in the back — not in the front parking lot where there are a couple spaces. I arrived before my installation checker person did and the rescue squad invited me to wait inside.
Bethany, my car seat installation checker, walked me through EVERYTHING. The seat cover we were using wasn’t compatible with the car seat and made it slide too much so she had me remove it. Then walked me through how to strap in my kiddo, how to know when he’s too big for it, how to adjust the straps, when to remove the newborn insert, and answered every single crazy question I had.
She confirmed that the car seat was installed correctly and had me sign a document or two for the county.
Oh, and by the way… all these options are 100% free! I do suggest making a donation to the rescue squad — something on my to-do list between diaper changes in the coming weeks.
Bethany made me feel so much better about putting my child in a car seat. I couldn’t recommend having your car seat inspected enough just to give you peace of mind.
If you have other recommendations or resources about car seat installation inspections, especially in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia please share them below!
– Josh // Parent
PS: Wrote, formatted and published this whole thing on my phone without him waking up! 🙌🏼