Child car seat safety training to be held Aug. 26-29 in Sitka

Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2009

SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Injury Prevention Program and the Alaska Highway Safety Office are hosting a child passenger seat safety training Aug. 26 to 29 in Sitka.

The four-day class starts with three days of training from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 to 28, in the SEARHC Community Health Services building first-floor conference room, 1212 Seward Drive (down the hill below SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital). On the fourth day of the class, students will hold a free community car seat check-up (required for technician certification) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29 at the AC Lakeside Grocery parking lot, 705 Halibut Point Road.

This class is for child-care providers, nurses, police officers, health professionals, child advocates, injury prevention professionals, parents and caregivers. Those who complete this course will earn a Child Passenger Safety Technician certification, a national credential valid for two years.

There is a desperate need for qualified Child Passenger Safety Technicians in rural Southeast Alaska, so some scholarships are available. The travel scholarships include travel costs, housing and per diem for meals. The travel scholarships also cover the registration fee, which is $60 total. The deadline for applying for travel scholarships is Aug. 14. The goal of this training is to get at least one technician certified for each Southeast Alaska community.

Fitting a child's car seat is difficult because there is wide variety of car seat designs and motor vehicle types, and children come in all sizes, shapes and behaviors. It's no wonder that only 17 percent of the more than 1,500 car seats in Alaska checked by certified CPS Technicians (from October 2007 to September 2008) were properly installed. An improperly fit child car seat raises the risk of injury or death for a child, and motor vehicle crashes account for 42 percent of all unintentional childhood injury-related deaths.

To learn more about the CPS Technician credential, go to http://www.carseatsak.org/. To register for the class or get more information, contact SEARHC Community Injury Prevention Specialist Lesa Way at 966-8804 or lesa.way@searhc.org, or call Gordon Glaser of the State of Alaska's Safe Kids Coalition at 269-3433 or gordon.glaser@alaska.gov. You can register online at www.safekids.org/certification.



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