Clearing Up Car Seat Confusion
No one wants to imagine their child being injured in a car crash, but the statistics are clear and they indicate motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death for children in Canada as 10,000 children are injured in collisions every single year.
Everyone knows that car seats are important, but it is widely reported that almost no one installs them correctly. The Organization SEATS for Kids Canada reports that as many as 90% of the car seats they see at their car seat clinics are improperly installed.
In fact, one recent analysis of severe injuries of child passengers found that 92% of infants, 74% of toddlers, and 96% of school-aged children were not using the appropriate restraint at the time of the crash.
With seemingly ever-changing guidelines, dozens of different makes and models of car seats and vehicles and a child is always-changing height and weight, it is no surprise that so many parents and caregivers have not installed their seats properly.
However, taking the time to learn proper installation is a matter of life and death as a properly installed seat reduces the risk of death by 71% for infants under age 1 and 54% for children ages 1 to 4.
It really cannot be overstated, a properly installed car seats are critical and if you are reading this, the odds are good that your own car seats are not properly installed.
Where to Get Car Seat Installation Help in Ontario
If you have thoroughly read over the manual for your seat, but still have questions, or you just want someone to inspect your installation, good and qualified help is available.
Since car seat safety is such an important children’s health issue, there are many organizations who offer assistance to parents and caregivers. You just need to know where to look.
If you are in the Ottawa area:
- The Ottawa Safety Councils’ BestFit Car Seat program offers three ways to make sure your seats are properly installed: Car Seat Clinics, Group Workshops, and Do-it-for-me Private Installation Services
- The Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre offers monthly car seat clinics. The clinics are free and open to everyone, but you will need an appointment. Call 613-962-0000 ext. 233 for more information.
- SEATS for Kids offers clinics in Kingston as well as other eastern Ontario communities. The clinics are free, but the program relies on donations to run.
If you can’t find assistance in your area, a safe bet is to call your local police or fire department. Many stations will do an inspection or can direct you to a clinic or other resources.