INDIANAPOLIS - According to a car seat technician, more than 80 percent of parents do not install their car seats properly.
Eileen Orban with the Pike Township Fire Department has been a car seat technician for six years. She admitted she had little knowledge about installing car seats when her two children were younger.
"I was amazed with how much I did wrong as a parent because I didn't know," Orban said.
According to the Automotive Safety Program, car seat technicians are certified through Safe Kids Worldwide. They're required to take standardized training developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are fewer than 1,000 people who are certified in our state and 36,000 around the world.
There are a number of resources available for parents if they need help installing car seats or if they want someone to double-check whether they did it right, including designated areas where families can go if they need help. FOX59 learned people need to make appointments because there are a select number of people who are trained.
"We have to do everything right and not just one or the other. We can't just strap the baby in right and not worry about how it's strapped to the car," Orban said.
It can take up to an hour to install a car seat and it is important to do it correctly.
"The last thing I want a parent doing is questioning whether or not (their) child is safe in the car when they're driving down the street," Orban said.
New parents Victoria and Justin Fricke needed help installing their new car seat. Orban helped installed it on Thursday afternoon.
"That's an hour that I would stand here every single day to make sure she's safe," Victoria Fricke said.
Their daughter, Lillian, was born six days ago
"You realize your life is devoted eternally to somebody else, but it's amazing and I just love her," she said.
The Fricke's contacted FOX59 after watching our special report, Precious Cargo. The report took a close look at a new proposal by the NHTSA, which wants to add side-impact testing to car seats for children up to 40 pounds because currently there is no U.S. standard.
"You're all they have and like you have to protect them," Justin Fricke said.
The couple said our special report educated them and that is why they bought a new car seat.
"Thank you for airing it 'cause hopefully me and many other moms will see the value in just spending the extra money," Victoria Fricke said.
The Frickes said they want to do everything they can to protect their child. Lillian is their first.
"You just think that's the most precious thing in your world," Victoria Fricke said.