A car seat may be the most important life-saving device a parent will buy for their child.
But a shortage of certified technicians on Vancouver Island has made it hard for parents to access the information and help they need.
Hoping to change that, 15 new technicians are undergoing technician training with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada.
Teaming up with the Ladysmith Fire Hall, the new technicians — together with experienced technicians and instructors — are offering a free car seat clinic this Sunday (Feb. 12) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Transport Canada estimates incorrect usage of child restraints — and that includes booster seats — at somewhere around 80 to 90 per cent.
With more than 10,000 children younger than 12 injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents in Canada every year, correctly using an appropriate child restraint is the single best thing you can do to increase your child’s safety in the car.
Car seats are much more complicated than they appear on the surface, and there are no standardizations between different brands.
Parents don’t know what they don’t know, so having a qualified technician check the install can help ensure the seat is being used correctly.
A technician’s primary goal is to educate parents on best practices and teach them to properly and safely install and use their children’s car seats and booster seats.
Knowledge surrounding the change in crash test standards that took effect Jan. 1 and the implications for parents is also in their repertoire.
To register for the free car seat clinic, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the age, weight and height of each child; the make, model and manufacturing date of each car seat and the year, make and model of the vehicle in which the seats are installed.
Questions or comments can be directed via e-mail or through the Vancouver Island Car Seat Technicians Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VICarSeatTechs.