Heritage Insurance LTD

Greg discusses how to secure your child in the proper car seat in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Here's a full transcript of the episode.

Rob Carnie: 800 CHAB's insurance expert, Greg Marcyniuk, is on "Ask the Expert" today. And Greg, today we're talking about proper installation of your child seat in your vehicle and proper installation of your child in that child seat in your vehicle.

SGI local police services across the province, across the country, quite often have clinics to make sure that your child seats are safe and attached properly. And more often than not, it seems, people are surprised by the fact that they don't meet the safety standards. There are some very strict rules involving these child safety seats.

Greg Marcyniuk: That's correct, Rob. And just to give you an idea of the stats that motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death, and they are a preventable injury for Canadian children between one and nine. When you're talking about misuse, they say the rate ranges from 44 to 81% of car seats and 30 to 50% for booster seats. And, again, according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, when used correctly, as far as child seats, you'll reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% and risk of serious injury by 67%. And using a booster seat instead of just a seat belt alone, it reduces it by 59% in an injury risk.

So, first off, you should choose the right seat for your child's development stage, including their weight, height, and age. And there's a variety of seats that your child needs, including infant-only seats and seats that start off as rear-facing for young babies. And then they switch over to, as far as a forward facing, when the child has maxed out the rear-facing requirements.

Car seats all have an expiry date, and it's very important that you see what the expiry date is. If you can't find the expiry date, there is a list online that you can look and check with the manufacturer to see when it has expiry.

The other thing is never use a car seat that has been in a crash before or that you don't know the history of the car seat. Even if there is no visible damage, it still could compromise the seat. Make sure the seat is installed securely, and you can test this by grabbing the base of the seat secured on the belt path, and you should not be able to move that seat side-to-side or front to back more than an inch. If it is, it's not done properly.

Make sure your child is harnessed in correctly, and that harness should lie flat with the chest clipped at the arm level, not too far near the belly and not too high towards the neck. And then you can do what they call a pinch test, and you pinch the harness strap at the child's shoulder. And it should be tight enough where you can no longer grab any excess webbing on that.

And a biggest thing is do not rush your child to the next stage of a car seat. Make sure you're right to the maximum for the rear seat. And it's the same thing for the booster seats. Make sure that you've got them right there until they're at the max before you move them on to a seat belt, because these things are so safe.

Rob: Yeah, the days are gone where the kids are running rampant in the back seat. It's just not safe, that's for sure. I heard someone say one time, Greg, that, "Hey, professional race car drivers harness themselves, strap themselves into a vehicle. Why would you not do that for your child?"

Greg: That's correct, and it's easy to do and just takes a few seconds. So please take the time, go out and make sure your seat is secure, the booster seat, and make sure that your kids do fit properly.

Rob: All right, and these tips are online.

Greg: Check us out online at nohassleinsurance.ca, or come and see any of our fine people at the corner of 1st and Fairford Northwest.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)

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