Akisqnuk Health Centre to host child car seat clinic 

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For those interested in learning how to safely strap in youngsters in car seats, the Akisqnuk Health Centre will be hosting their first free car seat clinic since before COVID began. This crucial seminar on safety will be held rain or shine in the Centre’s parking lot on April 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jennifer Hilder, early years worker, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child & Family Services Society (KKCFSS), said this is the first car seat clinic she has hosted since starting in her position almost one year ago.

“The goal would be to host one each spring and fall,” said Hilder. “There are some common mistakes that parents or caregivers make when installing child car seats. A clinic like this can identify and fix any such mistakes. Anyone who transports infants and children in their vehicle should attend this seminar. By law, drivers are required to make sure that all children under the age of 16 are protected appropriately.”

Hilder said the KKCFSS Early Years Team hosted a car seat clinic in October 2022 with their trainer but only a few were in attendance. Parents or caregivers interested in attending are asked to arrive with their vehicle and child car seat(s), to learn how to use it with the guidance of a child passenger safety (CPS) instructor. Participants are required to have both their vehicle and their car seat manual; these are required to complete a car seat check. 

Hilder said the child passenger seat will be removed from the vehicle and the participants will reinstall the car seat into their vehicle with guidance. 

“Rather than do it for you, we will assist you to do it properly yourself,” said Hilder. “Our focus is on educating the participants, this is really a learning opportunity.”

The Canadian Public Health Association states car seats for children reduce the risk of death in motor vehicle accidents by 71 per cent and reduce the reduce the risk of hospitalization for children ages four and under, by 67 per cent. Their studies show that booster seats provide 59 per cent more protection than seat belts alone.

Photo by Sam Barber on Unsplash

“This clinic is important to keep children safe while being transported in your vehicle,” said Hilder. “When used correctly, child car seats and booster seats save lives. Our goal is to get accurate and appropriate information into the hands of parents, and caregivers. Ultimately, we would like those in attendance to increase their knowledge of child passenger safety and be confident that they are using the car seat they have, correctly with their vehicle.”