The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has crunched the numbers from a recent Child Seat Clinic in Orillia. Fifty-six seats were checked, just 14 passed. Among the mistakes found:
- Expired seats – Seats have an expiry date and you should check with the manufacturer. This information can be found online.
- Toddlers turned “forward facing” too soon – keep rear facing until 2 years of age, so the car seat can absorb the crash forces upon impact and protect the child’s developing skeletal system
- Forward facing seats found untethered; this violation could be a $250 fine
- Loose and twisted harnessing: harnessing secures your child in the safety seat, a twisted harness is a weak harness.
- Chest clip too low: must be placed at the breastbone. If lower the child risks severe abdominal injuries upon impact.
- Shoulder straps to high or too low: rear facing child- shoulder harness should cup the child’s shoulder and come from at or just below the shoulder; forward facing shoulder straps should be at or above the child’s shoulder.
- Loose childless booster seats: low or high backed booster seats must be belted with or without the child in them. The seats could become flying objects upon impact and harm passengers and the driver.
Health unit officials note when child seats are installed correctly they help reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries by close to 70 per cent. If you have questions about child safety seats visit the following websites