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Child Passenger Safety Technicians train parents and caregivers to select, install and adjust car seats and booster seats and to determine when a child is the right size to move from a child restraint to an adult safety belt. Most of the nation’s 30,000 certified technicians are police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, nurses or childcare professionals. The training curriculum is developed by the National Child Passenger Safety Board and the technician credentials are issued by Safe Kids Worldwide.
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“We’ve always enjoyed a good working relationship with NHTSA, but this is the first time the Administrator has joined us in providing direct, hands-on services to families,” said Kerry Chausmer, director of certification for Safe Kids Worldwide. “The fact that Ms. Nason took three days out of her schedule to become an accredited expert in one of the many technical aspects of her agency’s work is a powerful statement about the importance of child passenger safety.”
Nason, a mother of two, noted that technicians can give caregivers the knowledge and confidence to install and adjust car seats correctly themselves. “Caregivers have such an enormous responsibility to make sure children are buckled up correctly, every time they ride,” said Nason. “That is why programs like this are so vital for keeping children safe.”
Approximately four out of five car seats are used incorrectly, and far too many young children who should be on booster seats are riding in safety belts that are designed to fit adults, said Alexis Kagiliery Lee, East Coast program manager of Safe Kids Buckle Up. “CPS technicians help parents make sense of the detailed instructions, provide hands-on education and sift through all the good and bad advice out there,” Lee said.
Lee was the lead instructor, with Chausmer and J.J. Current of Safe Kids Worldwide, Kelly Hamilton of Safe Kids Palm Beach County (Fla.) and Jessica Butterfield of NHTSA assisting. All students passed and were issued credentials that must be renewed every two years through a combination of monitored fieldwork and continuing education.
To find a technician near you, visit http://www.safekids.org/certification. To find a car seat checkup event or your local Safe Kids coalition, visit http://www.usa.safekids.org/ and click on “Find Coalitions and Events Near You.”
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. More than 450 coalitions in 16 countries bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. The organization was founded in 1987 by Children’s National Medical Center with support from Johnson & Johnson.