May 21, 2003


BCAA warns consumers to careful of second-hand child seats

Burnaby, B.C. – The B.C. Automobile Association is reminding parents to have their child seat inspected to ensure the seat is safe and their children are not put in harm’s way.

“In many cases, used seats may be cracked or missing parts that parents might not even be aware of,” says Linda Reid, Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator. “That’s why it’s critical that parents, grandparents and day-care providers have their seat – new or used – inspected by a certified technician.”

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation advises parents, grandparents and day-care providers who are thinking about purchasing a used child seat, to ask the owner for as much information as possible before you purchase it:

  • Ask to see owner’s manuals and installation guides.

  • Check the make and model and call the Child Passenger Safety toll free
    information line at 1-877-247-5551 to ensure the used seat has not
    been recalled. Or, visit www.bcaa.com for current information on child seat recalls.

  • Thoroughly check the seat for any cracks, dents, or broken parts and
    ask the owner if the seat has been in a vehicle that has been in an
    accident. Child seats that have experienced an accident may be damaged
    and therefore not be suitable for transporting children.

  • Have the child seat inspected, free of charge, by one of the program’s
    trained and certified technicians.

Even a new seat, fresh from the factory, still doesn’t guarantee that a
child is riding safely. “We’re still finding that the number of child seats
installed correctly is extremely low – and most of those are brand new,” added
Reid.

Inspections carried out under the Child Passenger Safety Program still
indicate that fewer than one in 10 child seats in use throughout the province
are installed or used correctly. Out of 5,000 inspections conducted since the
Child Passenger Safety Program was launched in September 2001, only five per
cent of child and booster seats were found to be installed and used correctly.

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