Pacific County Fire District No. 1

Car Seat Program

Where and when can I get my child’s car seat installed/inspected?
Pacific County Fire District #1 has a car seat technician that inspects and can assist with installation for car seats by appointment only.
What do I need to bring to a car seat inspection if I need a new seat?
The vehicle, the parent or guardian and their ID, the child, the current seat, the payment, and an interpreter if the parent doesn’t speak English.

Do I have to live in Pacific County to get a car seat or have one checked?
We can check anyone’s seat. If you need a seat, you must live in Pacific County. If you live in another county, contact your local Safe Kids Coalition for assistance.

Can I get a car seat checked if I’m still pregnant?
Absolutely! There is no requirement for the child to be present during a car seat check. It is strongly encouraged, but not required. There is no fee for this service.

When can my child turn forward facing?
You want to have your child stay rear facing up to the maximum height and weight of the seat. The longer they stay rear facing, the safer they are in the event of a collision. Children that are younger than 2 and that stay rear facing are 75% less likely to be killed or injured in a vehicle crash.

Most children will need to transition from an infant seat to a convertible seat so that they stay rear facing, then can transition to forward faces once the child reaches the max weight or height of the seat. They cannot forward face prior to one years of age or if they are below 20 lbs per WA State law.

When can my child use a booster seat?
A child needs to pass the 5 step test in order to switch from a harness to booster seat. This usually occurs around 5 or 6 years old. They need to meet the minimum weight and height requirements and be mature enough to sit still and appropriately the entire ride, even when asleep.

The 5 step test is as follows:

  1. Sits all the way back against vehicle seat or back of booster
  2. Knees bend at the edge of the vehicle seat, preferably feet touching the floor
  3. Shoulder belt fits evenly across the collarbone and sits flush with the torso
  4. Lap belt is low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs
  5. Can stay comfortably seated this way the entire ride

NEVER use a booster seat with lap belt only! It requires a lap and shoulder belt.

When does my child no longer need to use a booster seat?
WA State law, RCW 46.61.687, requires that a child be in some type of child restraint until they Now kids over the age of four but under four-feet, nine-inches tall must use booster seats. That would keep kids in a booster until the ages of ten or twelve.

When can my child sit in the front seat?
WA State law, RCW 46.61.687, requires children to sit in the back seat until they are 13 years old.

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