Learning To Be Safe With Your Children On The Road

By: News Canada

(NC)—According to recent Canadian studies, as many as eight out of 10 child safety seats may be improperly installed in Canadian vehicles. While most parents understand the importance of child safety seats and make sure they have one for their child, the problem comes from a lack of caregiver education when installing them.

Transport Canada's "Keep Kids Safe: Car Time 1-2-3-4" information guide indicates that approximately 10,000 Canadian children 12 years of age or younger are injured every year in traffic collisions, some of them fatally. One effective way to reduce the risk to children from the dangers of collisions or sudden stops is to restrain them properly.

Automobile manufacturers have consistently improved on technology to help prevent injuries to children. For instance, DaimlerChrysler Canada pioneered child seat safety with innovations such as integrated child seats, and standard equipment like universal lower anchors and tether anchors available on Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep? vehicles. However, these innovations are only tools. It is ultimately up to parents to ensure that their family is secure by using them properly every time.

DaimlerChrysler Canada realized there was a need for a national child safety seat inspection service for car owners and as a result developed the Fit for a Kid? program.

These free inspections are open to all Canadians regardless of the make or model of their vehicle. Now parents can get advice and assistance on the proper installation of child safety seats at participating Five Star Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep? retailers.

"We want to make sure parents know how to protect their children by buckling them up safely," said Ed Brust, Chairman, President and CEO, DaimlerChrysler Canada. "With our free Fit for a Kid inspections, parents will receive expert advice and instruction to ensure they're using the proper safety seat for their child and that it is installed correctly in their vehicle."

St. John Ambulance is the exclusive Child Restraint System (CRS) training and certification partner for Fit for a Kid? technicians. The CRS training course and curriculum were developed with the help of the Canadian Coalition for Child Passenger Safety and the Government of Canada.

"Having the most up-to-date child seat does not necessarily mean your child is safe," says Suzanne McGlashan, CEO, St. John Ambulance National Office. "Correct installation and making sure the child is fitted in the seat properly are even more important. It ensures a comfortable, safe and secure ride."

The Fit for a Kid? inspection process demonstrates to parents, by a certified technician, that their child safety seat was built to meet Canadian standards and is adequate for their child's age, size and weight. If it is not compatible with the child or is subject to a product recall, DaimlerChrysler Canada will offer parents a loaner seat until they can get an appropriate replacement.

A Fit for a Kid? inspection ensures that child safety seats are installed properly in the vehicle and will offer a comfortable yet secure ride. Parents who visit a participating Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep? Five Star dealership for an inspection, will receive a safety tip sheet and activity booklet for their children.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the toll-free number at 1-866-FIT-4-A-KID or visit the Web site at www.fitforakid.ca.

- News Canada

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