Monday, August 13, 2012
Child Passenger Safety Technician
What is a Child Passenger Safety Technician?
A child passenger safety technician (CPST) is an individual who has been trained to help educate parents, grandparents, or any care giver on how to correctly install and use their child's car seat/booster. CPSTs go through a 40hr course that includes both classroom time and hands on practice. Technicians must pass three written test and three hands on test to become nationally certified. After they pass the course they must re-certify every 2 years. This requires them to stay up to date by having 6hrs of continuing education hours to re-certify. Technicians are highly educated on the topic of transporting children in vehicles and a great resource for parents. Even if you feel you have your child's seat in right and you're using it correctly it never hurts to have someone give it a good look over for you.
Finding a Child Passenger Safety Technician?
There are several technicians throughout the nation. Most CPST are volunteers and there is no cost to you as a parent to meet with one. Many technicians have day jobs as policemen, firemen, or health care works. Not all policemen and firemen are CPSTs. Make sure to ask specifically for a CPST when calling the police station, health unit, or fire station. When you meet with a CPST ask to see their certification card. They should have an up to date, no older than 2yrs old, certification card with a technician number on it with them when preforming checks. Sometimes good hearted police or firemen will help you and might not give you the best information. So make sure you are meeting with someone who is currently certified.
Some technicians are just individuals who have a passion about child passenger safety. They choose to take the course and to meet with parents in their free time. These technicians are some of the best technicians. Their passion is what drives them to stay up to date on new regulations and what seats are new to the market. But make sure to also ask them for proof of certification too. And be careful on where you meet with these individuals. If they are not associated with a non profit organization that specializes in child passenger safety and meeting with you at this organization, please make sure you are meeting with them in a public place. You and your families safety is the most important thing. You can find a CPST in your area by searching here.
What to expect when meeting with a CPST
A good technician is one that will not only install your child's seat but will also teach you how to do it. The goal of the Child Passenger Safety program is to be an educational service to parents, not an installation service. To learn more about what to expect from a CPST click here.
The goal of a technician is to have your child leave safer than when they came and that you feel confident in using and installing your child's seat. I want you to be educated on why I recommend what I do and I want you to feel confident in the choices you make as the parent. A technician should always be respectful of parental choice. No one should ever make you feel bad for the choices you make for your child. Meeting with a CPST should be a positive experience.
Technicians are full of knowledge and can even help you with choosing a seat for your child. They can also do group presentations to help educate a small or large group of people. Some technicians are even able to help parents who are unable to financially afford a seat for their child. To find a technician affiliated with a fitting station visit www.seatcheck.org
Interested in becoming a CPST?
Visit here to locate a course near you.