By Jaime Bayers
On June 21, Porters Lake was packed with members of the Eastern Shore Family Resource Centre, the RCMP, members of the Child Safety Link, and plenty of volunteers, all coming together to promote child safety. The roadside event focused on strategies to keep a child safe in a vehicle, and attracted many new families and grandparents who all wanted to learn about the safest way to get their kid from point A to point B.
Katherine Hutka, a member of the Child Safety Link and an experienced member of other child safety events, shared some things to look out for when you’re installing a car seat or booster-seat for your child.
“Make sure the seat is attached snuggly to the vehicle,” Hutka said. “If it’s forward facing, ensure that the top tether is attached. Be sure that the harness is secure and that the chest clip is at the armpit level. It’s also very important that your child has the proper car seat for their height, weight, age, and development.”
Teamwork was the key factor in this operation. The RCMP were stopping people on the road and directing them into the parking lot in front of the plaza where a group of eager staff and volunteers assessed current car seats and distributed new ones if needed. The event gained a $1000 grant from Walmart to acquire car seats and booster seats for those who arrived at the roadside and needed them. The Westphal Cole Harbour Firefighters Assocation also made a donation.
Hurtka said these car seat events had a “definitely positive” impact. “Some people get a bit upset if their car seat wasn’t installed properly and they need some help, but our effort is to make them not feel judged. Parents are doing the best they can with what they have. They all love their kids.”
If you have any questions in relation to your child’s safety, especially when in the car, call the Eastern Shore Family Resource Centre (902-827-1461), or go to childsafetylink.ca for more information.