Child car seat clinic in Montreal
On Thursday, June 9, all parents of young children are invited to have their child car seats checked at a clinic organized by the specialists in the Trauma Department of The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH), in collaboration with Station 26 of the Montreal Police Service (SPVM), and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
The clinic will take place in the parking lot of the Walmart at the corner of Décarie and Jean-Talon, on Thursday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Car seat experts will be on site to check for proper installation and to advise parents on how to prevent trauma and injuries in their children. Since the activity takes place outdoors, in the case of rain, it will be postponed to a later date.
Only 50% of children are safe
Each year in Quebec, approximately 1,150 young passengers age 9 and under are injured or killed in car crashes. The SAAQ would like to remind all parents that the only sure way to protect their young children in a moving vehicle is a child restraint system, which reduces the risk of death or serious injury due to crashes by up to 70%, but only if used correctly. Parents must use the right car seat for the child’s weight, make sure it is properly attached to the vehicle seat, and ensure that the child is securely fastened in the car seat or booster seat. A 2009 SAAQ study showed that parents use the proper car seat for their child’s weight in 86.2% of cases, but that this car seat is correctly used in only 58.4% of cases, for an overall proper usage rate of 50.3%. This means that, in 2009, one in every two children was not securely fastened in his/her car seat.
Awareness-raising about the proper use of car seats is a top priority for Montreal police officers and trauma centres, since there can be no price placed on a child’s life. While the use of child car seats is mandatory in Quebec, every day police officers are confronted with the unfortunate reality of children who are not properly buckled into their seats or who are standing upright in a moving vehicle; they have also noted a lack of information about car seats among new Canadians.
In light of this worrisome situation, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec strongly supports all type of awareness-raising activities, such as the child car seat clinic planned for this Thursday by the Trauma Department at The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Montreal Police Service.
Take the time to properly install your child’s car seat—it could be a matter of life and death!