KÄLLABABY REVIEW: Mobile BEST FIT Car Seat Program

Whether you are having your first baby or your fourth, you will be navigating the ever changing world of car seats. We personally remember being overwhelmed with choices and concerned that our baby girl was not safe.  So, for this review, Källababy wanted to know what resources were available to ease the fears and anxieties of  parents in the trenches of the dreaded purchasing, installation, and ongoing safety of car seats. When we found out about the new mobile BEST FIT Car Seat Program which promised to be a convenient and useful service, we let two local families try it out.

Here is what Carmen and Shannon had to say:

 

Carmen

Sharalyn was awesome! She was very professional and informative. I googled how to install my infant car seat and thought I got all the information related to it through the web. However, Sharalyn informed me of many car seat-related facts I had no clue were crucial to the safety of my baby while riding in a vehicle. She inspected my car seat and adjusted it all the while explaining the process step by step. I am very grateful to her for insuring that my baby is riding safe. Thank you, Sharalyn!  I definitely recommend her to anyone with a car seat.

 

Shannon 

I was fortunate to be asked to do a review of a new mobile car seat clinic in Ottawa.  Sharalyn was an absolute pleasure to work with. We first set up a meeting for an evening appointment which was especially nice because my boyfriend works days while I’m on maternity leave.

Sharalyn had asked what type of car seats my children were already in; with my four-year-old daughter she was in a Diono and my four-month-old son is in a Britax bucket seat. Sharalyn before even coming to see the cars had suggested that we change the car seat for my daughter. I was a little bit caught off guard because I’ve been told that these car seats are supposed to grow with children right into a booster seat. She also said that I don’t need to change it right away, she will explain it to me more and show me what she means.

 Sharalyn showed up even in the really cold weather with a smile on her face and happy to be helping a family install car seats correctly and safely. The first thing that she noticed is that my daughter didn’t need the seat installed how we had it installed, it only required installation by the seat belt. She also explained to me and showed me firsthand why the car seat was going to be outgrown very soon by my daughter.

She took the time to help me install the seat so I knew what to do when the time comes to remove the seat and replace it with the new seat we will be getting. She also inspected the base of our bucket seat in both vehicles to ensure the upmost safety of our four month old son.  We have been driving with the handle of the bucket down because that is what I was always told was the safest; however, she pointed out that according to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions it is actually safer to have the handle up.

Sharalyn did an amazing job and I would highly recommend her to anybody looking to have a car seat clinic in their own driveway. She has done thousands of car seat installs and the information we left with was absolutely invaluable and priceless. By far something every parent should do, even if you think your seat is installed correctly, it likely is not. We have to remember these are children and their safety should be a priority. I also must  say that the seat she does recommend for my daughter is not an extreme over-priced seat.

 

In the spring of 2013, the Ottawa Safety Council (OSC), in consult with Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ministry of Transportation’s Safety Education and Training branch identified a gap in the child car seat installation and inspection services in the Ottawa area.

It is Ottawa Safety Council’s goal to be the leading voice in safety and injury prevention education programs to residents of Ottawa.  Recognizing that the correct installation of infant and child car seats can make the critical difference in a vehicle collision, OSC embarked on a two-year test pilot to test the efficacy and sustainability of a Car Seat Inspection and Installation service provided by the Ottawa Safety Council.

On Thursday, October 3, 2013, as part of the province of Ontario’s Seatbelt Campaign, the Ottawa Safety Council along with Councilor Keith Egli, Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Transportation Committee, Bob Rintoul, General Manager for Myers Cadillac Chev Buick GMC, and representatives from the Ottawa Police Service and Ottawa Paramedic Service, officially launched the BEST FIT Car Seat Program– a new child car seat inspection and installation service for the City of Ottawa.

The BEST FIT Car Seat Program offers public clinics across Ottawa, where Ottawa Safety Council trained Children’s Restraint System Technicians provide education and inspection to ensure that car seats and booster seats are installed safely.  The program is run by dedicated, trained volunteers and staff who have a commitment to child safety.  At present, the Ottawa Safety Council has 18 trained Children’s Restraint Systems Technicians.

The goal of the program is to promote, educate and demonstrate current best practices regarding the safe transportation of children in vehicles

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