Car seat training happens all over the world. SafeKids is taking their show on the road and doing CSPT training all around the globe. But that’s not all — the United Kingdom’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) also offers a car seat safety course. This one day training course is held by British experts Child Seat Safety Limited.
For a lot of us, the most exciting moment of our CPST course was getting a look inside the training trailer. For many coalitions and instructors, this magical rolling box is home to a wide variety of car seats.
What’s in your tech kit? It’s a popular question that Child Passenger Safety Technicians ask one another, so thought I would go through a tour of what I carry in my tech bag. A little background: I’ve been a CPST since 2010, and I’m about to be confirmed as an Instructor. I work for the fire department and I do a couple dozen checks a month. I have a storage trailer that contains my large backup of supplies, but here is what is in the bag that lives in my trunk and travels with me to every check.
So you’re a CPST now, congratulations! For most technicians, the first year or so is really about getting your feet wet. You’re getting the hang of working with parents and understanding different seats and vehicles. Once the initial class is complete, recertification can seem to be a ways down the road; until all of a sudden it’s two months before the expiration date and an email pops up reminding you to recertify.
Last year for Child Passenger Safety week we talked about what you can expect when you visit a Child Passenger Safety Technician. This year, we are going to talk about what you can expect when you go to a Seat Check Event. With Seat Check Saturday coming up September 20, 2014, it is likely that there is an event near you. While the set up of every check event is different, the general idea is the same.
I’d been a Child Passenger Safety advocate since my oldest daughter was little. At her first birthday, she was 18 lbs — below even the lowest limits for rear-facing. That inspired me to explore the safest options for her. I stumbled onto the facts around extended rear-facing in time to keep her seat backward until around her 4th birthday.
As Child Passenger Safety Technicians, we often have the opportunity to work with parents and caregivers that are excited about car seat safety and interested in becoming CPSTs themselves. One of the most common questions they ask about the certification process is what does a CPST do, anyway?
Child Passenger Safety Technicians are often faced with some difficult scenarios. CPSTs can traverse the challenging territory of fitting three car seats across bench seat, selecting a seat for a tiny car with tall children, or the puzzle of a jam-packed minivan where only certain seats can be used in certain positions.
When it comes to resources for child passenger safety technicians, the LATCH manual easily makes the short list of “must have” references. It is jam packed with technical information that is invaluable to the CPST. Need to know how to use a top tether (rear or forward facing)? Want to know where LATCH began or how to use a retrofit tether? Can’t find the anchors in a vehicle that should have them? The LATCH Manual can tell you all of that, and so much more.
To start off, what is a Child Passenger Safety Technician? A CPST has been trained specifically on the topic of child restraints and safety within a vehicle. They can spot problems and know the specifics about seats and cars on the market. They make sure that a child is in the correct seat for their age, height, and weight. With upwards of 80% of child restraints being used incorrectly, a CPST educates parents on the correct use of seats and shows them how to properly install them.