The Co-operators Celebrates 10 Years of Car Seat Safety

GUELPH, ON, April 1, 2009 – After a decade of providing hands-on car seat education, The Co-operators has much to be proud of. And so much more to do! This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Co-operators award-winning Buckle Up Bears program. Over the past 10 years, The Co-operators held more than 600 car seat clinics across Canada, correctly installing over 10,000 seats. The Co-operators also has distributed more than a million growth charts, which demonstrate the various stages of car seat safety. With more than 1,000 volunteers trained to date, the program remains in high demand in many Canadian communities.

“At the very heart of the Buckle Up Bears program are the dedicated Co-operators staff and agents, and community partners who give so willingly of their time,” said Jayne Russell, Manager Public Relations for The Co-operators. “Without them the program would does not exist.”

Led by The Co-operators, and with the expertise of the Infant and Toddler Safety Association (ITSA), the partnership involves car seat inspection training for Co-operators staff, agents and community partners, the production and distribution of materials for parents and caregivers, staffing of car seat inspection clinics, and awareness building in the broader community. On a local level, public health nurses, police and fire officials, local businesses and community volunteers plan, staff and contribute to the car seat inspection clinics.

“The Co-operators is an outstanding community partner. They’re an organization that understands the idea of ‘it takes a village.’ For the past 10 years, they have funded the Buckle Up Bears training program, car seat clinics and educational materials. But, most importantly, they offer their time,” said Valerie Lee, Director, ITSA.

In 2008, The Co-operators released an instructional video entitled Car Seat Safety Check, which provides step-by-step instructions for selecting appropriate car seats and installing them properly. Later this year, ITSA will launch a website featuring Buckle Up Bears educational material as well as the DVD contents.

Over the past 10 years, the Buckle Up Bears program has provided parents and caregivers with the tools and support to confidently install their car seats.

This spring, it is important to keep in mind the following safety tips:

  • Overheating: the metal parts on car seats, as well as seat belt buckles, can overheat in the sun and cause discomfort or even burns for infants and children. When not in use, make sure to cover the metal parts of the seat belt or the car seat with a blanket or a towel to avoid burns.
  • Car seat expiry date: check the expiry date on your child’s car seat this spring located on the back in most cases. If you cannot locate the expiry date, please contact the manufacturer.
  • Projectile objects: loose objects in your vehicle can be hazardous in the event of a sudden stop or a collision. It is critical to stow hard objects or secure them to protect all passengers.

About The Co-operators:

Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Ltd. is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of $7.5 billion. It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.