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Keeping the youngest members of our community safe is a big priority for Clifton Park & Halfmoon Emergency Corps (CPHM). In 2019, their highly-trained staff of child passenger safety technicians installed over 200 child safety seats! With each installation taking almost an hour, that equals a lot of time and effort for CPHM staff.

Gina Wierzbowski, CPHM’s Community Outreach Coordinator, said, “Our child safety seat program is one of our most important activities. We are so pleased that we can offer it free of charge to our community due to the generous donations made to our Annual Fund Drive every year.”

Before they can spend time performing car seat installations and educating parents about child passenger safety, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians must attend a three-day, intensive training course. This course covers installation of different types of child safety seats, regulations and guidelines surrounding correct installation, and how to educate parents and caregivers on best practices. The course culminates with the new technicians applying their knowledge during an actual car seat check event.

CPHM partners with local law enforcement agencies and the Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extension office several times a year to hold car seat check events. Wierzbowski commented, “Strong community partnerships ultimately benefit everyone we serve because techs learn techniques and tips from each other during these events, which improves the safety our community’s littlest members!”

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, all of CPHM’s Child Passenger Safety Car Seat Check events have been postponed. Wierzbowski said that the events will begin again as soon as it is safe for everyone. “Anyone who might need to install a car seat right now should check both the car seat’s instruction manual as well as their vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions and tips,” she added.

CPHM said another great resource for Child Passenger Safety information is Sake Kids Worldwide’s “Ultimate Car Seat Guide” available online at https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide.