Ninety five per cent "misuse" child car seats

The Estevan Fire Rescue Service opened doors for the employees of local emergency services.

The RCMP, the Estevan Police Service and the fire department personnel went through an extensive training on child car seat safety last week. Fire Chief Dale Feser noticed that there is a high demand for such expertise in the community.

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“We do get a lot of requests for this type of information and this type of inspection, so we figured it’d be best to spread it out a little bit,” Feser said.

The safety clinic that took place on the last day of the program was just the end part of the training. Travis Holeha, the child traffic safety program co-ordinator for the Saskatchewan Provincial Institute, came all the way from Saskatoon to share his knowledge and expertise with the safety technicians-to-be.

“It takes three full days of training plus written test or an exam to pass to become somebody who can help others in the community with the child restraints,” Holeha said. “Everybody always wonders what we are going to learn over three days about the car seats, but it’s really just scratching the surface, because there is so many out there and they are not always the easiest things to use.”

Fairly often people not only have difficulties choosing a seat that would fit their vehicle and suit their child, but also get frustrated when it comes to the seat installation. As a result, specialists notice a very high rate of child restraint misuse.

“The misuse rate, we see in car seats is more than 90 per cent. Just from personal experience, I would say 95 or higher. Everyone is making mistakes when it comes to child restraints,” Holeha noted.

Most of the time problems occur because it’s not clear how to choose a proper seat out of numerous presented at the market. Besides, as Feser noted, “sometimes the manufacturer’s instructions are not that easy to follow.”

Now that Estevan has more safety specialists, the fire department is looking into setting up quarterly safety clinics. When that comes to life certified technicians would be able to help individuals to pick, install and inspect car seats on a regular basis.

But if you don’t want to wait, you always can drop by the fire department during their hours of operation and they will guide you through the process. Besides, you can find a list of local certified car seat technicians online and get them to help you.

One way or another, the safety of children is the number one priority. And now Estevan has even more options for you to make sure that your kid has the safest seat.


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