Don’t let your next drive be your child’s last. That’s the message behind the Toronto Child Seat Safety Coalition’s new ad campaign.
Coalition officials staged a press conference recently to unveil a new public awareness poster at the Toronto Police Services’s Spring Child Seat Safety Clinic held at the corner of St. Clair Avenue West and Runnymede Road.
The brain-child of Juniper Park advertising agency, the poster features a black hearse driving down a road. Pasted onto its rear window is a familiar bright yellow sticker that reads “Baby on Board.”
Written below the image is a reminder that 80 per-cent of the time, parents and caregivers incorrectly install child safety seats.
Coalition co-chair Constable Stephanie Borun was on hand to explain the reasoning that went into the campaign.
“The message for this ad is simple: don’t let your child’s last ride be to a cemetery. As shocking as this may be to some, the shock of learning of the death of a child is even greater,” she said. “It is a stark reminder of how fragile life is and that the protection of our future is paramount.”
The hope is that through public education and outreach, proper child seat usage and maintenance will improve and the number of child deaths will go down.
According to Inspector Gord Jones out of the Toronto Police Traffic Services Unit (http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/traffic/), parents, caregivers and their communities need to do a better job at protecting their children in motor vehicles.
“Although advances in the design of car seats has had a significant impact on the reduction in the number of children killed or injured in collisions, there are still close to 100 children per year in Canada being killed in motor vehicle collisions. That number is still far, far too high,” he said.
In addition to the public awareness campaign, car seat clinics play an important role in the coalition’s public awareness program. The clinics allow caregivers to bring their car and child safety seats in to be inspected and installed by a staff of police officers cum car seat technicians.
Technicians such as Constable Cindy Greenlaw of 55 Division, a veteran at these car seat clinics, look for and record the child seat make, model and serial number, proof of Canadian safety certification, seat position and belt tension.
“Most car seats that come in aren’t installed correctly. They’re generally loose,” Greenlaw said. “What you’re looking for is when you pull the actual car seat it moves (only) about an inch.”
Link here for more information visit about the Coalition online, including future clinic dates.