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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Reports & Publications - Newsletters

Monthly Board Report - December 2000



Car Seat Clinics Galore!

Submitted by Terry Lynne Marko, Public Health Nurse and 
Erin McLean, Public Health Nurse

On October 14, 2000 the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit supported 10 car seat clinics throughout Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties as part of an Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition initiative. The "Big Day" was a great success with the cooperation and support from 86 community volunteers trained by the Health Unit, 35 community sponsors and 20 trained Public Health Nurses.

201 child seat systems were checked that day with only 10 seats being installed correctly by the parents {approximately 5%}.

The types of errors and omissions that were observed at the various clinic locations included the following {which are typically found at car seat clinics}:

  • harness needed to be tightened

  • harness in wrong slots

  • seat belt system too loose

  • needed a locking clip to hold child seat tightly in back seat of car

  • child seat recalled, needed replacement parts

  • child seat recalled, needed to be destroyed

  • child seat in collision, needed to be destroyed

  • prenatal visit, wanting some information for correct installation of child seat

  • questions around tether anchorage, correct position?

  • reposition infant seat to face backwards in vehicle

  • move child seat in vehicle to a new seating position

  • infant car seat, handle in an upright position when buckled into vehicle

  • child had outgrown car seat as stated by the manufacturers instructions for recommended height or weight limits

This car seat initiative was undertaken in a partnership with other Tri-county community agencies as well as the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition. The evaluation comments from Leeds, Grenville and Lanark were for the most part positive but also included suggestions for improvement. The viewpoints of the Health Unit staff, as well as Leeds, Grenville, Lanark community partners and parents are reflected below.




Positive Comments

  • we were able to increase awareness of proper car seat use in many of our communities and support as the Health Unit's commitment to meeting this goal

  • the manufacturers instructions for over 2000 different child car seats were a wonderful resource

  • it was helpful having prepared kit boxes containing checklists, manufacturer's instructions, Transport Canada's pamphlets, videos and posters

  • a great number of community volunteers were trained in car seat inspection especially in Almonte, Pakenham, and Carleton Place.

  • there was great accessibility on that day as car seat clinics were offered in many communities across Eastern Ontario, our Tri-county having the largest percentage of clinics offered that day

  • local fire departments and area businesses as sponsors were generous with their support

  • donated car seats for draw prizes, donated space and refreshments were very beneficial to the event's success

  • we now have more local sites for appointments to have car seats checked, sharing the responsibility, increasing availability

  • awareness of the Transport Canada web site with the current recall list is greatly increased


AREAS for IMPROVEMENT
required for those activities completed centrally by the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition

  • the media coverage wasn't organized locally and therefore did not meet local deadlines. Many communities have a weekly publication and need several weeks notice for media releases to fit into the appropriate edition of the paper. the event was scheduled during fire safety week.

  • Local fire departments were committed to both events, which created challenges in organizing volunteers for the car restraint clinics.

  • the date chosen was moose hunting season and several community trained volunteers were unavailable. They had gone hunting!

  • several of our partners would like to see this October date moved to coordinate with the Road Safety Challenge Week in May or the seat belt campaign with the police earlier in the fall

  • the CAA web site didn't identify who the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition was. The partners who make up the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition should have been listed to give credibility to the EOCSC logo

  • the EOCSC posters didn't emphasize that car seat clinics were the focus for the day therefore there was some confusion in the general public's perception of the event

  • the CAA 1-800 number was useful only for messages to be left. This was also confusing to the public as the Health Unit has it's own local Health Unit’s toll free Health Action Line




Summary

When planning for next year's Eastern Ontario regional car seat clinics, the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition will need to review feedback from each Health Unit area.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area needs to ensure that the Tri-county needs are met while participating as a member of the Eastern Ontario Car Seat Coalition.

The Eastern Ontario coalition needs to explore the possibility of moving the day to coordinate with other road safety events, such as Road Safety Challenge.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will work to maintain our new partnerships in the Tri-county community.

Overall this was a worthwhile endeavour, appreciated by the community. It decreased the risk of injury for 201 children in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.



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