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Child passenger safety certification available

Published: May 29, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 29, 2014) -- Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that highway deaths over the past five years remain at historic lows, Fort Rucker doesn’t slow down its efforts in traffic safety, especially when children are involved.

That’s why the installation is providing the opportunity for people to become nationally certified child passenger safety technicians through a course that will be offered June 3-5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Police Training building, Bldg. 7213 on Dustoff Ave., said Peggy Contreras, Fort Rucker Community Police supervisor.

“This class will provide the proper techniques that people need to correctly put child safety seats in cars, and make sure they are properly fit and secure in the event of an accident,” she said. “It’s a full three-day course and there is a lot to learn.”

Throughout the course, participants will take part in a variety of activities, including child safety seat checks where parents and caregivers will receive education and hands-on assistance on how to properly use child restraint systems and seat belts, according to

“Different types of vehicles have different types of seat belts and locking mechanisms, so people will learn all of the different techniques for the different vehicles,” said Contreras. “It seems obvious enough to be able to put a child seat in a car, but if the child’s seat is not properly latched, it can do more harm than good.”

Contreras said that people should make sure that the child’s seat is securely locked so that it’s not moving around while the vehicle is under operation.

“Often times you hear about car accidents that were absolutely horrific, but a child was found safe in the car because he or she was properly strapped into their car seat,” she said. “The bottom line is they save lives.”

Participants will also learn about crash dynamics, injury prevention strategies, child restraint selection, and installation and vehicle occupant protection through a combination of hands-on activities, lectures and discussions, according to the CPS website.

Those who are interested must be actively involved throughout the course and must be able to dedicate the full three days to the course. Certification is provided on a pass-or-fail basis and is not awarded based on attendance alone.

“Normally this course is for law enforcement officers, but this class will be free and open to the public, so if any parents or organizations want to come and take part, they are more than welcome,” said Contreras. “If anyone is involved with any type of children’s activities or they have children that they spend a lot of time with or are transporting, then they should come and learn how to properly operate the child safety seats.”

The lessons learned throughout the course could potentially save a life, and can also be passed on to Family members, friends and community members, added the community police supervisor.

People should dress comfortably for the classes, as they will be climbing in and out of vehicles during demonstrations.

For more information, call 255-3273. To sign up, visit and choose the Fort Rucker certification class from the drop menu.

This article was originally published at

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