Car seats are one of the many things parents have to deal with from the day they bring home their little bundle of joy. They can be a bit confusing when first learning how to install and secure them into a car properly. Since I still scratch my head a bit where car seat installations are concerned, I was happy to have attended a demonstration that Ford of Canada put together help parents learn all about car seat safety. Kelley Adams-Campos, a certified child safety passenger safety technician with Ford for 25 years, was leading this presentation to help demystify proper car seat installations and to answer any of our questions about this topic. The Museum of Agriculture hosted this great event in Three Sisters Hall.
Kelley has also played an integral role in writing the manual on child care restraints for Ford. Throughout her presentation, she was able to clearly show us how to install car seats from each level of child development, and all in attendance learned a lot about what we were doing wrong and right where child care restraints are concerned. Here are some of the facts Kelly shared with us about each car seat she presented during her demonstration:
Rear-Facing Car SeatsChildren should be kept rear facing for as long as possible, up to the weight or height limit of the child seat.
- Children should be kept rear facing for as long as possible, up to the weight or height limit of the child seat.
• It should be placed at a 45-degree angle which helps to keep the baby’s airway open so they can breathe.
• Making sure that the harness is snug will keep your baby safe should the car stop suddenly or crash.
• Back of shell does all of the absorption in an impact so it is recommended to keep children read-facing for as long as possible.
Convertible Rear/Forward-Facing Car Seats
• Age 2-at least Age 5, or until the child weighs 65 lbs.
• When the child’s ears hit top of seat, then time to move to next seat level.
• Keep kids rear-facing as long as possible.
• Refer to both the child seat user manual and the car owner’s manual to ensure you have installed the child seat the correct way.
Booster Car Seat
• A child must be mature enough to wear a belt so they do not take it off on their own.
• Keep harness as long as possible as it helps to position a child’s shoulders and hips.
• Until they can sit up straight and feet on floor, children should be in booster seat
until 4’9” (or about 122 cm) tall or 80 lbs.
• Ford inflatable belt with an expandable pouch to further protect a child in a booster for extra protection. It expands on impact and acts like an airbag. It opens away from the body.
Ford also has video for parents and car owners to help properly install car seats into their cars. This way, they have a visual reference to help them place and secure car seats in their cars the right way.
Kelly also informed us that there are three common issues people encounter when installing car seats:
• Loose installation
• Attaching the car seat to improper parts of car
• Not reading the owner’s manual to see how to properly install the car seat
For parents, like me, who brought their children to this demonstration, The Museum of Agriculture had some of their staff on hand to keep the little ones entertained while we were able to take in all of the details Kelley was sharing with us. My children made some great works of art and had a great time listen to stories and interacting with the other children present.
There were also refreshments available for everyone to enjoy. My favourite treat had to be the adorable (and also extremely yummy) cupcakes topped off with the Ford logo. As you can see, I think my kids enjoyed them even more than I did! Lunch was also graciously provided to everyone! I was happy for all of the thoughtfulness Ford and the Museum of Agriculture put into this event!
To top everything else off on the day, a lucky attendee was going to be chosen to win a mini Ford F-150 for their child to enjoy! I had left my lucky four-leaf clover at home, so I did not win it, but it was a great prize to give away! The children in attendance were also invited to test 2 F-150 vehicles on the grounds of the Museum of Agriculture. I had to hold my kids back until it was their turn to try out these mini trucks. Once aboard, they had an amazing time driving around. It was heart-breaking for them to have to be parted with their new favourite toys.
We were then invited to spend the rest of the day at the Museum of Agriculture. My kids had so much fun exploring the Food Preservation: The Science You Eat Exhibition on the main floor of the Learning Centre. They spent a lot of time in the play kitchen making meals for anyone that was present. I was able to take a look around the exhibit and learn a lot about the history of this practice and progression that food preservation has gone through over time.
We then discovered the residents of the Museum of Agriculture. My little ones had a blast seeing all of the animals they see in person. They had a great time visiting all of the animals, and found a few of them fascinating!
I believe their favourites were the sheep and the goats. It took a lot of convincing to get them to want to look at the rest of the farm once they were befriending these animals.
We had fabulous day thanks to Ford of Canada and the Museum of Agriculture. I learned so much about car seat safety so I can better ensure that our kids are secure while they are traveling in a car. My kids got to have a lot of fun making crafts, driving their first motorized vehicles and seeing a lot of animals they were sad to leave behind when it was time to go home. It was a day no of us will soon forget!