My husband and I just bought a minivan and the story of how we came to that decidedly un-hip decision is a whole different tale for another post. But, because we have a new car, we had to install another car seat. This is a task we have never managed to master on our own so I went searching for where parents in Huntsville/Madison area are supposed to go if they need help installing their car seat or checking to make sure it is installed correctly.
If you’ve searched the web like I did then you know that Huntsville Hospital offers an inspection station. However, it requires you to call ahead and make an appointment and if you are like me and you KNOW your car seat is installed incorrectly, you don’t want the hassle of making an appointment and you certainly don’t want to wait for someone to call you back. Huntsville Hospital is also a treck for some people so here’s a tip you won’t easily find advertised – fire stations. Any fire station in the City of Madison has someone trained and certified in car seat installation and can install your seat and show you how to do it properly. They do ask that you call ahead when possible but it’s not required.
Armed with this information, I called the lovely people at the Fire Station at 101 Mill Road in Madison and asked if they could help me out. They said “come on down” and within five minutes of arrival, not one but two (very cute) firemen had my car seat properly installed and gave me a great tip* about saving my new leather seats from wear and tear. As a mom who formally left the task of getting the car seats in and out of the car to my husband, I will say that I feel quite empowered by the ability to do it myself and feel confident it is tight enough.
* As you can see in the photo, I went and bought a “car seat saver” at Babies R’ Us. They had several different brands ranging in price from $15 – $30 and I bought one of the mid-range ones and am very happy with the purchase. Easy to install and has already saved my seats from the wear and tear common with small children.
UPDATED 9/14/2012: After much confusion about whether or not fire stations were inspection stations, I made a few calls. The City of Huntsville does not currently offer this service but the City of Madison does.