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Child Safety Seat Inspection

FACT: Only 15% of child car seats are properly installed.

The City of Scottsdale Public Safety personnel provide car seat inspections by appointment. Please visit Full Slatelinks to external site to choose your appointment time.

If you need immediate assistance, there are other agencies who may be able to help you:

Everything becomes a missile in a crash. This means anything that is not secured will fly around the inside of the vehicle. Anything that you don’t want hitting you or your child should be safely put away. Here are tips to make sure your is installed correctly:

  1. Use the owner’s manuals for the seat AND the vehicle to select safest position and installation method.
  2. Ensure the seatbelt or LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) straps are going through the seat at the correct slots for the position the seat is facing.
  3. If using LATCH, check the vehicle owner’s manual to make sure that LATCH can be used in the seating position you have chosen. (Center is safest for your child to ride. However, many manufacturers do not allow LATCH to be used in that location. The seat belt would be used instead.)
  4. The seat should not move more than an inch from side-to-side at the belt path (where the LATCH or seat belt straps are go through the seat.) A grip liner can be used to help reduce any movement on slick surfaces.
  5. Ensure the seat belt or LATCH straps are not twisted.
  6. The seat should be at a 45 degree angle when the seat is rear-facing. Most infant seats are designed to allow you to adjust the angle. Otherwise, use rolled up towels, or pool noodles to help maintain the angle. Forward facing seats are kept straight. 
  7. Use the tether strap to secure the seat at the top when forward-facing. This helps reduce forward head movement by 6 inches.
  8. Harness straps hold the child in the seat.  They should be snug and should not be twisted.
  9. The harness clip should be kept at armpit level.
  10. No after-market products should be used on the seat.  This includes toys on the carrying arm and anything that goes behind the baby in the seat.  If it didn’t come with the seat, do not use it.
  11. The carrying arm should be kept in the back position while in the vehicle.  This will allow the seat to react properly in a crash.

Each year, approximately 1,800 children who are less than 14 years of age lose their lives as the result of a motor vehicle crash. Another 280,000 children are injured. Child safety seats, when properly installed, save lives. A study released by the National Safe Kids Campaign, however, reports that at least 85 percent of the 17,500 seats inspected were installed incorrectly. The most common misuses were the safety belt not holding the seat tightly and harness straps not being used properly.

Arizona Law Regarding Child Car Seats

ARS 28-907 (A) and (B):links to external site A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on the highways in this state when transporting a child who is under five years of age unless that child is properly secured in a child restraint system. Each passenger who is at least five years of age, who is under eight years of age and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall is to be restrained in a child restraint system.

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale - Fire Department

Witzeman Public Safety Building
8401 E. Indian School Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
General Information: 480-312-8000
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-Emergency: 480-312-8911

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