SGI, Cypress Advanced Healthcare, and the Saskatchewan Prevention Institution teamed up over the weekend to host a car seat inspection clinic in Swift Current. 

Traffic Safety community outreach coordinator in the Department of Traffic Safety Community Outreach for SGI, Toni Rapley, explained that these clinics are a great way to spread information and possibly avoid life-threatening mistakes. 

“We were invited out to Swift Current in partnership with Cypress Advanced Services to host car seat training for a variety of persons working in different fields in Swift Current, just to help them become more familiarized with child passenger safety, how to properly install car seats, and also how to make sure that children are properly restrained when travelling in a car,” she stated.  

“The really big importance of it is just the fact that we can't avoid being in a car, we can't avoid travelling. Swift Current is a hub for a lot of travel, either to Moose Jaw, Regina, or Medicine Hat. Everyone involved just realized that it is easy to make a mistake when using car seats and that mistake could be potentially life-threatening.” 

Rapley added that when bucking a child into a car, there are numerous factors that should be considered. 

“Some of the key things that we focus on is that we always want children to be restrained in either a rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat or a booster seat until they are over the age of seven, taller than four foot nine and as close to 80 lbs as possible to ensure proper seat belt fit,” she elaborated. “Some common misuses when it comes to our youngest children is that we turn them forward facing far too early.” 

Common misuses when buckling children are leaving the harness straps too loose or too low, not attaching the top tether, and properly anchoring the car seat or booster seat. 

“Some of the common misuses when it comes to transporting children is that the harness straps are too loose, the chest clip is too low,” Rapley explained. “It's supposed to be at the armpit level and sometimes as caregivers, we keep it too low, so in a bad collision that could lead to serious injury if the straps slide down and the child is moving in a way that they shouldn’t be.  

“Another common misuse that could lead to injury is in forward facing seats, we don't attach the top tether and the top tether is what prevents any whiplash or head and neck trauma from taking place and then also just not making sure that the seat belt is used tightly or that we're using the proper universal anchorage system. We want no more than one inch of movement from side to side and none at all from front to back. 

If you need assistance installing a car seat, you can find a technician on SGI’s website.