Some of our members are offering virtual car seat checks at this time. Others are looking for direction on how to safely offer in-person support again. Here are the protocols CPSAC has put in place to reduce the risk of transmission for our members and caregivers. Direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Car Seat Checks & Clinics
Effective June 26, 2020
These protocols apply to individual car seat check appointments and car seat clinics. These protocols were created to align with guidelines sent to us by CPSAC’s insurance provider with feedback from select members from across the country.
REMINDER: Applicable regional, provincial, territorial, and federal health restrictions and requirements supersede these protocols. In the case of discrepancies between this protocol and other health requirements, follow the stricter requirement until further notice.
Enhanced public health and safety protocols will change how CPSTs provide car seat checks and car seat clinics for the foreseeable future. With careful planning and consideration, CPSAC is confident that in-person support can be offered safely.
If you are providing CPST services as part of your paid employment and your employer’s safety protocols are in direct conflict with these protocols, please reach out to email@example.com.
If you are in a high-risk category, including but not limited to: individuals age 60 or older, immunocompromised, or with a chronic health condition, assess your own risk and determine if offering in-person seat checks is a good choice for you right now in your community.
- Do not meet if you or the attendees are feeling ill or have otherwise been directed to self-isolate.
- Maintain physical distancing of at least two (2) metres whenever possible;
- Wear a mask and request that caregivers wear a mask to protect each other. Physical distancing is difficult to maintain during an in-person check.
- Use hand sanitizer on your hands before, during, and after the appointment, and request that attendees use it as well.
- Adhere to regional limits on gathering sizes.
- Clearly communicate your expectations, your role, and the caregiver’s role.
- Set realistic expectations for how much time the appointment may require, taking into account requirements for physical distancing and hand hygiene practices.
- It is highly recommended to structure the appointment or clinic with pre-booked times so that adequate communication can take place prior to attendance.
- Complete a pre-screening tool applicable to your region, see here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms/provincial-territorial-resources-covid-19.html
- Confirm that the caregiver and all those attending the appointment also complete the pre-screening tool.
- Note on your seat check form that both yourself and attendees are cleared to attend. Before you begin, all attendees should initial this note to confirm.
- Choose a check location carefully. You will need a location with enough space to move freely. Outdoor space is best. Be aware of noise levels as it can be hard to hear when physically distanced or when wearing masks.
- Request that caregivers bring their own pen and hand sanitizer.
- Request that caregivers also bring and wear a mask if they are able.
- Use hand sanitizer on your hands before, during, and after the appointment, and request that attendees use it as well.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Do not provide shared food or beverages.
- Wear a mask, and request that caregivers wear one also. Your comfort level may require that all attendees wear masks.
- Children under age two (2) should not wear a mask.
- Health Canada mask guidelines can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
- Maintain physical distancing of at least two (2) metres whenever possible.
- Use your own pen to complete the check form, and request that caregivers use their own pen.
- Reduce contact where possible, which might include limiting time in a caregiver’s vehicle. Provide more verbal support and coaching.
- Advise caregivers to follow manufacturers instructions for how to safely clean their seat.
If you are unable to follow mask protocols:
If you are unable to wear a mask: maintain physical distance and stay at least 2 metres away from others at all times, do not enter a caregivers’ vehicle, or touch their car seat.
- Offer a virtual check or a check by phone or video. Virtual Check resources are here, log in to view.
- Refer the caregiver to another CPST who is able to safely wear a mask for the in-person car seat check.
- Use a demo seat and doll to show the caregiver from a distance how to make adjustments or buckle the child.
If caregivers are unable to wear a mask:
Use your discretion to determine your comfort level with meeting in person.
- Who is most at risk? World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19/information/high-risk-groups
- Who is most at risk? Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/people-high-risk-for-severe-illness-covid-19.html
- COVID-19 Screening Tool: https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en
- Health Canada mask guidelines: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
- Hand hygiene with hand sanitizer: https://youtu.be/sDUJ4CAYhpA
- How to remove a face mask: https://youtu.be/pFJaU9nxmTA
- CDC glove recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/providers/index.html#
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Yes. Communicating and following consistent, best practice protocols builds trust and confidence among caregivers and colleagues, and demonstrates a concern for the health and safety of those we work with.
This safety protocol will be updated as public health information changes. CPSAC will advise members when these protocols can be phased out
Safety is our middle name.
It is important that caregivers feel comfortable with the advice we give about child passenger safety. Demonstrating a concern for their health and safety includes showing a respect for public health guidelines to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
To promote a consistent and safe environment across Canada it is important that all members follow protocols to guide their interactions with caregivers.
Wearing a mask shows caregivers that you care about keeping them healthy and safe while you are educating, and working with their car seat and vehicle.
Wearing a mask, together with good hand hygiene and physical distancing as much as possible, will reduce caregiver concerns about possible contamination of their seat or vehicle.
If you can not wear a mask: offer a virtual seat check, refer the caregiver to another CPST, or maintain physical distancing at all times: do not enter the caregiver’s vehicle or touch their seat.
As a national safety organization CPSAC is aligning our policies with the national and international public health recommendations at this time. We recognize that public health instructions vary by region and will change over time, and CPSAC will adjust our protocols as needed.
Ideally all attendees should wear a mask. If they can not, you will need to decide if you are comfortable meeting with them.
It is ultimately our responsibility to ensure that we do not unknowingly put caregivers and their families at risk.
If you are not comfortable attending a check where caregivers aren’t wearing masks you can always offer a virtual check, or refer to another CPST.
Children under 2 should never wear a mask.
Members cannot waive the requirement to wear a mask – even if a caregiver agrees.
You can still attend a check without wearing a mask, but you must maintain physical distancing at all times; you cannot enter the caregiver’s vehicle or touch their seat.
Yes but physical distancing must be maintained at all times, and it would work much like a virtual check in person. Do not enter a caregiver’s vehicle or touch their seat unless you are wearing a mask.
You can support an in-person check while maintaining physical distancing at all times; you cannot enter the caregiver’s vehicle or touch their seat.
Think of it as a virtual seat check but in person. You can use many of the virtual seat check resources available here https://www.cpsac.org/members/toolbox/ to communicate with the caregiver and collect information before you meet.
If you are unable to provide a complete check while maintaining physical distancing, there is always the option to mark “check not completed” on the check form, and document the steps you were able to complete.
Hand sanitizer, as defined by Health Canada, is an alternative to washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If your check location has hand washing facilities then it would be appropriate to use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer.
If hand sanitizer is used correctly it would be dry before touching a car seat or a caregiver’s vehicle, and would not damage the car seat.
Remind caregivers to clean their seats according to manufacturers’ instructions; hand sanitizer should not be applied directly to a car seat.
Gloves are not a substitute for appropriate hand hygiene (hand sanitizer or soap and water).
If you needed to practice universal precautions (for example if you had an open cut on your own hand) then gloves would be appropriate but hand hygiene must be performed before applying the gloves, and after removing them. Gloves also need to be put on and taken off in a specific way manner to avoid contamination.
See the CDC’s recommendations on gloves here: https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/providers/index.html#
Absolutely. Ensure anything you provide is clean or sanitized before and after use.
Each member will need to determine this on a case-by-case basis. Consider your regional public health requirements together with your own comfort level, the family’s circumstances and these protocols.
If you request that caregivers do not bring children, you could ask that they send you a photo of the child in the seat in advance of the check so that you can assess fit. Document accordingly.
We understand that members may have different points of view on the best way forward. The CPSAC board of directors developed these protocols to demonstrate that we are an organization that follows public health and safety protocols. We have chosen to use national and international sources to create the protocols in this document. You will find helpful links at the bottom of this page.
These precautions reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at a CPS event. No one wants to put our members or caregivers at risk.
We understand this is a challenge for some CPSTs. You are able to attend a seat check without a mask, but are not able to go into a caregiver’s vehicle or touch their seat.
Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org about your particular situation, and we will work with you to determine the best option to meet the requirements.
These protocols address car seat clinics as well as private checks.
We are still reviewing protocols for certification clinics and instructors will receive that information as soon as it is available.
We take safety very seriously. We know you do too. We are all in this together.
As educators we communicate the need for caregivers to respect and follow the rules imposed by provinces and territories, by the federal government, and by manufacturers.
It is important that members follow the protocols established by CPSAC so that:
- We collectively have a high level of confidence in those with whom we share the CPST title.
- The public has a high level of confidence in and actively seeks our services.
- Our manufacturer, retailer and government partners have confidence in our practices.
Members who do not comply with policies and protocols undermine the good work we all do, and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Members who offer services that follow CPSAC policies, which now include a public health policy component, will continue to be covered for their child passenger safety-related activities.
Some industries were required to stop work altogether; we are pleased that our insurer is not putting us in that position
Communicable disease transmission is not part of CPSAC’s insurance coverage, and never has been. We value the safety of members and caregivers which is why it was important to develop these safety protocols, in consultation with our insurance provider, to minimize the risk of someone making a successful claim of negligence on a member’s part that resulted in COVID-19 transmission.
These policies and protocols were drafted and reviewed by the Board of Directors with the support coordinators including Policy, Feedback, Communications, Registration, and Curriculum).
In addition to their voices, we reached out to a sample group of members and partners for feedback. An additional 14 individuals representing 9 provinces and territories contributed. These individuals were instructors and technicians, and included members from manufacturers, retail partners, coalition leaders, and health and community services. We also reached out to our National Safety Council (US) colleagues and Saskatchewan Prevention Institute partners for feedback.
These individuals provided suggestions and enabled us to write this final version in a more flexible manner with more options, to better reflect the regional variations in different parts of the country.