It could happen to you. Why it’s important to check your child’s car seat regularly.

It’s all over the news; a 2yr old girl falls out of a moving vehicle on the ramp to the DVP. My stomach has this terrible sinking feeling, until I read further that the toddler is o.k. She was strapped in her car seat when she fell out of the car and miraculously she is unharmed. Thank goodness!

I don’t know all the details of this dads situation. But personal and professional experience have taught me that you need to regularly check your car seats. Don’t assume that once the seat is installed that you’re good to go and don’t need to ever check it again. 

I distinctly remember a time my parents were visiting and we were going out with the kids. I had a 5 passenger car, my dad sat in the front and my mom wedged herself between the 2 cars seats in the back. Sounds really uncomfortable, however she would say she was in her glory between her 2 grandchildren. Unbeknown to any of us, my mother had unbuckled the seat belt attached to my daughters car seat while unbuckling her own belt… it really was a tight squeeze. When I was buckling my daughter back in her seat after our excursion, I noticed that the belt was not attached. I remember the fear I felt just thinking of what could have happened had I not noticed.  I also just learned that this happens more often that people realize.

Did you know that at spot check clinics in Halton in 2012, %70 of vehicles checked failed inspection.

Together with the Halton Partners for Car Seat Safety (HPCSS) we provide spot check clinics throughout Halton. Father buckling baby into car seatOur staff mentioned that there were 4 car seats at our last Oakville clinic that were not attached to the vehicle and typically they find at least 1 car seat at every clinic that is not attached to the vehicle. For many reasons, car seats can become detached. Tethers become unattached to add larger items in the back & are forgotten to be reattached, older children or passengers unfamiliar with your car can accidentally unbuckle. For whatever the reason, it’s so important to give everything a quick check when you put your child in the car to ensure they’re safe. They are our most precious cargo!

Have you checked your car seat lately? Here’s our Five Point Quick Check list:

  1. The Universal Anchorage or Seatbelt is routed through the car seat correctly, it’s tight and secured to the vehicle
  2. Correct 45 degree angle for rear-facing seats
  3. Tether strap is used in forward-facing seats, its tight and secured to a tether bolt anchor
  4. Chest clip at armpit level with harness straps flat and in good condition
  5. All harnesses and buckles securing the child in the seat appear properly adjusted, buckled, tight and secure

If you want to connect with us more directly for additional car seat & parenting information, you can:

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Tweet us: @haltonparents
  • Email us: haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Dial 311 (within Halton) or 905-825-6000 to talk with one of the public health nurses. We’re around Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Read Cynthia’s Bio

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for almost 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 10 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my teen son & pre-teen daughter with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Babies, Grandparents, Parenting, Physical Health, Preschool, Services, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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