We welcome guest blogger Patricia Shepherd to talk about car seats. She is a CPST and BCAA Car Seat Educator.
Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC) is a national organization that certifies Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs). There are over 2100 techs across Canada, with just over 200 of them in British Columbia. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable death in Canada for children between 1and 14 years of age. We dedicate our time and energy to fulfilling CPSAC’s mandate of keeping children safe in vehicles in a variety of ways. The Facebook page ‘Vancouver and Fraser Valley Car Seat Safety’ is run by CPSTs. We also do private checks with parents, educating them on installing their car seats and harnessing their children. Private checks can be booked through the Facebook page or on saferseats.ca. You will see CPSTs manning information booths and car seat clinics at public events, as well as information sessions at parent drop ins and parenting classes. CPST’s work with the RCMP and various police departments during roadside stops providing information and checking car seats. The statistics in Canada are alarming: 90% of car seats are being used incorrectly, either the car seat is not installed correctly, the child is not harnessed properly, or the car seat is inappropriate for the child. Being in the lower mainland we also see carseats that have been brought in from the United States. Canada has some of the highest testing standards in the world so car seats from other countries, including the States, do not meet our standards and cannot be used unless you are a visitor. September was Child Passenger Safety month and CPST’s were busy all month at special events, including a roadside with the RCMP and ICBC in Coquitlam. Five CPSTs checked 60 car seats in 43 vehicles in just over 3 hours. Seek out a car seat clinic in your area, book a private check or book a CPST to come and speak to your parent group to ensure that your car seat is properly installed and met all safety regulations.