On Wednesday August 31, Islington Village arranged a Car Seat Clinic for all the families at IVCCC. The Car Seat Clinic was an opportunity for parents and grandparents to have their childrens car seats inspected, and be  assisted with appropriate installation, by a ceritified technician. Jennifer Scott Barnier, who is certified by The Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, assisted parents with the car seats, giving great suggestions and with utmost safety inspected all car seats.

Example of a chest clip secured much too low.

Example of a chest clip secured much too low.

An adjustment done by Jennifer, tightening the chest clip, at armpit level.

An adjustment done by Jennifer, tightening the chest clip, at armpit level.


Between 3 PM and 6 PM Jennifer was able to see multiple families and left us great information to pass along. Some general car seat tips include:

- read your car seat manual, and seat belt, car seat, and air bag sections in your vehicle manual

- a seat permitted for us in Canada has the National Safety Mark (circle sticker with maple leaf); US seats are not legal

- install with either UAS or seat belt (not both at the same time unless restraint and vehicle manuals state otherwise)

- read your vehicle manual to ensure it is okay to install a car seat in the spot you want it; UAS installs are often not permitted in the centre

- the centre rear is the safer seating position, but a solid outboard installation always trumps a poor centre installation

- NEVER install a rear-facing seat in front of an active air bag

- there is a weight limit when installing with UAS. Find out what it is for your vehicle and child restraint, and once your child reaches the limit, install with the seat belt

- if installingwith a seat belt, it must LOCK in some way: at a retractor, at the latch plate, with a locking clip, or with built-in lock-offs on the car seat

- seat must have 1 inch or less of movement at the belt path

- check that you are using the correct belt path (seperate ones for rear and forward facing)

- you MUST top tether to an APPROVED anchor point when forward facing in a harnessed seat

- never use an expired, recalled, crashed seat, or one with an unknown history. Consult the manufacturer to discuss what constitutes a crash; car seats are one crash items only.

- consult your manual for washing instructions; do not machine wash harness, or use cleaners on it

- tighten the harness enough so you can not pinch a horizontal fold at the collarbone: the pinch test

- chest clip must be at armpit level

- do not over dress your child- use thin warm layers (like fleece) and cover with blankets. Bulky clothes can result in your child being ejected in a crash

- remove projectiles from the vehicle, and tie down or stow anything that you would not throw at child. This includes unrestrained passengers and pets.

- do not use unregulated aftermath products- your car seat was not crash tested with them

- be very wary if buying a used seat- you are trusting the previous owner with your childs life

- get your installation checked by a certified technician