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Car Seats

The PPA is Passionate about Car Seat Safety

Statistics show that only 1 in 5 car seats are actually installed correctly. With the number of cars on the road today, that leaves a lot of kids susceptible to injury and even death.

Raising awareness is just one way the PPA is committed to increasing car seat safety in our community. The PPA along with our PCSSC[1] partner agencies; run car seat clinics and workshops to inspect car seat instillations and teach care givers how to ensure their seat is installed correctly. As Paramedics, ensuring children are buckled up safely is one of the most effective ways we can actually prevent injuries and deaths in our line of work.


Car Seat Clinics:

Caregivers call ahead to book an appointment and bring their vehicles, car seats and children to have their seat(s) inspected by one of our certified child restraint technicians. Care givers are involved in any adjustments that need to be made to their child's seat. Appointments are usually 30 minutes in length, but the time can vary based on many possible factors. Drop-in lanes are available for care givers without appointments, on a first come first serve basis.

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Workshops:

A 45 minute power point presentation is given to a group of care givers, going over the basics of car seat safety and instillation. Following the presentation care givers install their own car seat(s) and certified child restraint technicians inspect the instillation and offer help when needed. Caregivers leave confident their child is safe and confident to install their child's seat on their own. Caregivers sign up for the workshop in advance.

As a caregiver there a few things YOU can do to ensure your child is safe in the car.

  • Check your child's seat to make sure they are in the correct seat for their weight and height.
  • Check your car seat's expiry date. Different manufacturers have different expiry dates on their seats, most between 5-8 years. Car seats expire due to the extreme temperature changes and general wear and tear over time which can affect the integrity of the plastic.
  • Read both the car seat and vehicle manuals to be sure your seat is installed in the safest location for your car.
  • Check that your car seat is tight enough. The seat should not move more than 1" in either direction. Installing a car seat correctly involves two people and placing weight in the seat to tighten the belts as much as possible.
  • Ensure that your child's harness lies flat, the chest clip is at armpit level and that you can fit no more than one finger between the harness and your child at the child's collar bone. Leaving the harness too loose is one of the most common mistakes made by care givers and can easily be fixed.
  • All forward facing car seats are required by law to have a tether strap. Read your vehicle manual to find the location of your tether strap hooks. If your vehicle is not equipped with a tether hook, visit you dealership to have one installed.
  • Remove possible projectiles from your vehicle. Window shades, unsecured DVD players, coins, coffee cups, hard toys, books, CDs and DVDs, etc. can all become deadly weapons in the case of a crash. Place cargo in the trunk or behind a cargo net and only give your child soft toys to play with.
  • Take part in one of our car seat clinics or workshops to have your car seat(s) checked by one of our technicians.

Please contact us at carseatsafety@peelparamedics.ca with any car seat related questions and for upcoming clinic and workshop dates!

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[1] PCSSC - Peel Car Seat Safety Committee

 

 

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