A buckle in time

By Geoff Lee

March 29, 2016 6:00 AM

Wee Jaxsen Wicker seems to be saying, "Enough already!" as mom, Fallon, with help from Craig Weinert, a peace officer with the County of Vermilion River, adjusts the straps on his car seat. The action took place during a car seat clinic at the Lloydminster RCMP Detachment Thursday.

The Lloydminster RCMP Detachment hosted a car seat clinic in perfect conditions for safety mindedness and awareness.
The clinic was held Thursday,  a snowy, icy day for driving, with traffic safety top of mind over the Easter long weekend.
Const. Grant Kirzinger noted March is also occupant restraint month.
“The car seat clinic is one way to assist the public to ensure their children are safe while they travel and we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Kirzinger in a news release.
The clinic was manned by specially trained officers and peace officers from the County of Vermilion River and the MD of Provost.
“We are looking at the child seats today to make sure they are correctly installed,” said Ian Green, a peace officer from the MD of Provost.
“We have checklists and what not that we go through.”
Green assisted expectant parents Glen and Manda Schumacher from Lloydminster with the installation of a new rear facing seat for the couple’s first baby due on April 13.
“In this case we are looking at a prenatal one, so we are just giving some advice on the proper installation and use of the seat today,” said Green.
“If the child is in the seat, then we look at how it is installed and see if there are any issues.”
With a signed copy of a safe installation in his hand, Glen reported everything was good to go.
“It’s our first baby so we just want to make sure that everything’s going to be installed properly and ready to go when baby arrives,” he said.
Green said rear facing car seats are recommended for infants up to 22 lbs., then it’s okay to switch them to a forward facing seat.
He said having that child seat installed correctly gives you the best chance in case of a collision.
“The weather that we are having today is, of course, a little more susceptible to collision so you want to have your child seat installed correctly,” added Green.
New mom Fallon Wicker pulled into the clinic seeking peace of mind and assurance that her son Jaxsen who will turn one on April 4, was properly secured.   
She bought the seat just after he was born and wanted to know if it should be turned to face the front and if it was properly secured.
After peace officer Craig Weinert from the County of Vermilion River finished his inspection, Wicker said the report indicated it was a little bit loose.
“He said we would turn it around since Jaxsen’s over the weight limit for front facing seats.”
Chelsea Nelson, a child passenger seatbelt technician from Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada said you can’t underestimate the importance of buckling your kid properly.
“They are our most precious cargo,” she said.
She noted that it’s also important to check the vehicle’s manual and read the car seat manual as well.
“That’s the first step that parents often skip, but it will give them all the information they need,” she said.
The clinic assisted motorists with correct use, installation and child placement for all child safety seats with technicians running through their checklists and answering questions.
“We are making sure seats are installed tight and we are checking to see that there’s no after market products being used with the seats” said Nelson.
“We’re checking to see that the kids are installed properly.”
She said the test is if the harness is tight enough and that there’s no bulky layers on the vehicle seats.
Although the icy road conditions may have deterred some people from attending the free clinic, Corporal Tammy Hollingsworth said it just heightens the awareness for child safety.
“Child safety is huge and a lot of people aren’t really sure how to make sure their child is properly fastened in,” she said.
“We are happy to do this clinic today and hopefully, we get a lot of people out and check them for the safety of the little ones.”
Hollingsworth noted car safety seats are something she always looks at when pulling over a motorist since she has two kids herself.
“I always give advice about child restraints and ticket as appropriate, but I think educating the public is a lot more important than issuing tickets,” she said.

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