Car Seat training was the last training session I had to complete in my journey to become a foster parent. It is not part of the PRIDE training I had to complete but a separate 2.5hr course taken at the Agency.
In this course we learned about the different stages and then installed different seats with the trainers. It was great to go over and learn the changes that have happened since my children were in car seats (I only have one in a booster seat now). I really think this should be a course that all parents have to take before using a car seat! So many people use them incorrectly!
We watched 5 videos in this session, but they were a bit dated and the trainers advised us of changes since the videos were made.
Here are some links to websites they told us about to gather more information (note: these are Canadian):
Also recommended was to watch crash test dummy videos on YouTube relating to car seats.
Some items in the training that stuck out for me:
- Rear facing seats should be used to two years old now, not one
- I knew it was always recommended for as long as possible and I remember having my daughter rear facing until she was about 18-20 months due to her being small (preemie, took her some time to catch up), but now they are starting to put it in pamphlets and some manufacturers are stating 2 years. This is a change that is currently in process.
- Also, the child should be able to walk unassisted before moving to front facing, that is also something I had never heard before
- The old practice was to use your body weight and kneel in the car seat to get it as tight as possible. That can cause stress on the car seat and weaken the frame, so now you should only use your hand to push on the seat when tightening the belt. I did it back when they told you to kneel in the seats, so that was good to know about that change.
- Booster seats are recommended to 11-12 years old now. 8 years old is the minimum, but it is recommended to keep them in a booster much longer.
- My daughter is turning 10 this week and has been out of a booster since she was almost 9. Now I am rethinking that based on the information received. Pelvic bone development is one reason they recommend the extended use.
- Foster parents are provided a car seat through the Agency, but if you are a View-to-Adopt family, you provide one.
There was lots of great info, if you have never taken a course about car seats but have children who use them, I highly recommend you find a local course. It has great info!