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Ottawa organization helping parents install car seats in jeopardy

A local Ottawa charity known for helping parents install their car seats correctly is now looking for help to keep its doors open. 

"In the car, it’s the most dangerous thing we do with our babies and we do it every day and there won’t be anybody to teach parents to do it properly," said Deanna Lindsay, executive director of SEATS for Kids. 

Lindsay says SEATS for Kids is the only organization she knows of in eastern Ontario offering car seat clinics and inspections on a regular basis.

On Sunday, it held a clinic in Barrhaven, helping roughly 60 people with their car seats. 

"It’s very complicated to install the car seat, it looks simple, but it’s quite complex," parent Marie-Claude Durette said.

But a lack of funding and donations, along with a shortage of volunteers is making it difficult to stay afloat. 

"It puts a lot of pressure on us to come up with money because without money we can’t keep going and then it will be a service that nobody will be able to access," Lindsay said. 

It is a service new parents like Alex Adani rely on. 

"Having a newborn on the way, it will just be very important to keep everyone safe." 

When car seats are used correctly, they reduce the risk of death for infants by 71 per cent and 54 per cent for one to four-year-olds, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society. 

However, it’s estimated that upwards of 80 per cent of car seats are not installed properly and in Lindsay’s experience that number is closer to 98 per cent. 

"It could be something small, but even the small things are big things because we don’t know what in a collision is going to cause the most damage," she said. 

More funding also means being able to help more people. 

"People who are low income, people who are new to Canada, these are people who we know are using their car seats wrong. They’re expired or damaged and they can’t afford a new one," Lindsay said. 

"But they don’t want to come to our clinics where we are asking for donations, because they can’t afford to fix it. So we are working diligently to try and come up with programs to go into these areas." 

SEATS for Kids hosts car seat clinics in Ottawa every two weeks and in Kingston once a month. Top Stories

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