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Car-seat clinic slated for this month

Parents and caregivers have an opportunity to learn more about car seat safety at an upcoming clinic.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Parents and caregivers have an opportunity to learn more about car seat safety at an upcoming clinic.

Professionals will be on-hand to ensure that people know how to properly install child car seats at a clinic later this month.

The clinic will be held March 19 at the Brandon Fire Station No. 1, on 19th Street North, and will run from 1–4 p.m.

It's one of five clinics hosted by Manitoba Public Insurance across the province to deal with improperly installed child car seats.

According to MPI, up to 80 per cent of all child car seats in the province aren't installed correctly. And national statistics show that one in 20 children are not restrained at all when in a moving vehicle.

"Children are the most vulnerable members of our society and their safety should be a priority for all Manitobans," said MaryAnn Kempe, the community and corporate relations vice-president of MPI. "Knowing how to install a child car seat and restrain your child correctly is the single most important way to protect them in the event of a collision. That’s why these inspection clinics are so vital."

Nationwide, more than 70 children under the age of 12 are killed and over 10,000 others are injured in car crashes each year.

"The more opportunities for inspections we can get out to parents, the more knowledgeable they will become," Kempe said. "As a result, the risk of their children being injured will be greatly reduced. These free inspections are a means of supporting parents and enabling them to provide the greatest care for their loved ones."

Common car seat errors include:

  • Securing the child restraint system too loosely
  • Improper use of the vehicle restraining system while securing the seat
  • Harness straps and/or chest clips that are too loose or too low
  • Children who are transitioned to the next car seat stage prematurely

"Knowing how to properly install a seat and restrain your child can be extremely tricky," Kempe said. "Reading instructions in a manual or online isn’t the as seeing a demonstration up close. That’s why these inspection clinics are so important – they provide hands on training on how to secure your children."

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