About Us

Laura, Lindsay & Jen - cold and bedraggled after a long, wet car seat clinic!

Laura, Lindsay & Jen – cold and bedraggled after a long, wet car seat clinic!

The founding group and page admins of Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs on Facebook, www.vicarseattechs.com and on YouTube are introduced below.  We’ve been answering questions and sharing child passenger safety information since the fall of 2011!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Hagen

Laura is a mom of three girls and has newly made the move to the Cowichan Valley, via Campbell River from Southern Ontario.  Her passion for car seats came after her first daughter outgrew her first infant/child car seat at the age of 2. This made her recognize that there was far too little information readily available and so she sought out the help of car seat techs online.  By the time she was pregnant with her second daughter, Laura was already looking for a course to take her certification.  She became certified in the spring of 2010 and soon after that made a move from Ontario to Vancouver Island, and became an Instructor with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada in May of 2013.  Keeping up with car seat changes is complicated! Laura feels fortunate to have met Jen, Lindsay and Emery and to offer Vancouver Island a resource to help keep children safe.

 

Lindsay Wilson
IMG_1926dLindsay is the mother of three young girls and lives in the Cowichan Valley. Her interest in car seats started while pregnant with her first when she stumbled on a large online forum while trying to decide which one to buy. The interest rose again later when she was needing a new seat and realized how complicated car seats are, how much conflicting advice there seems to be, and how little support there was on Vancouver Island for anyone wanting seats checked or who had questions. When the opportunity came to take a course to become a technician, she took it. She was originally certified in 2011, and also took the new CPSAC course in 2012 when it was offered here. She fits in seat checks and answering online questions in between building outdoor play structures, learning different fibre arts, and growing a large garden. Lindsay is grateful to have the other VICST techs to collaborate with, and that there is now such a strong presence on Vancouver Island for those needing help with their seats.

 

Jen Shapka

Jen is a mom of two young girls, a military spouse, and a teacher by training.  Her interest in car seats began while pregnant and living in Florida, after she discovered quite accidentally that a US seat could not be imported to Canada and used legally there.  Much research ensued, and the realization that none of her friends really knew much about car seats either pushed her to become certified as a Children’s Restraint Systems Technician in 2010 in Ottawa through SEATS For Kids Canada.  At one time living in Comox but now transplanted to central Ontario, Jen volunteers in the community and operates Greybird Consulting, a small child passenger safety education business. In 2012 she completed the necessary steps to become certified as an Instructor with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, enabling her to teach and certify new technicians — of which BC desperately needs.  In the hundreds of seats that Jen has now checked she’s only seen five six perfect ones.  A refusal to accept that rate of misuse and a natural teaching ability drive Jen’s passion for child passenger safety, and is what prompted her to join forces with Lindsay, Laura, and Emery to form Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs.

Alainna Smith

Alainna As of January 2015, we’re pleased to announce a new addition to our team to help out with answering the many questions and messages we get as we continue to grow.

Alainna is a mom of 2 young children who lives in SW Ontario. She’s only been certified since spring 2014, but she’d been an advocate for quite a while before that! Being a voracious reader meant that she’d read enough during her first pregnancy to have an interest in car seat safety, but it blossomed into a passion after she realized that the THIRD car seat that she’d bought for her first child STILL wouldn’t be the last seat she’d ever have to buy (as the box claimed!). The information was out there, but man was it frustrating to dig through it all! Surely there had to be a way for parents to find the information they needed without spending their entire life at the computer? Then she found out about an amazing creature called a “car seat tech”, and immediately knew she needed to become one and bring that valuable resource to her community.  Alainna now does so in Guelph, Ontario as the Car Seat Coach. When she’s not “car seating” Alainna also spends time volunteering as a breastfeeding peer counsellor and babywearing educator. She’s starting doula training this year. She’s thrilled to be a part of the VICST team!

Emery Glauser Pakos

Emery was instrumental in forming our Facebook page, website, and YouTube channel but is on sabbatical from all things Child Passenger Safety related.

 

Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs are local child passenger safety advocates, working together in our communities. We are certified Children’s Restraint Systems Technicians with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada. We are dedicated to promoting the proper use of child restraints.

Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Private car seat checks and education
  • Car seat installation clinics
  • Information sessions for parent groups, or any group that works with children and/or parents
  • Appearances at community events
  • Nationally-recognized certification courses

Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of accidental death for Canadian children. The number one thing parents can do is ensure that their car seats are suitable for the age and stage of their child, and that they are correctly installed and used. Our mission is to educate parents and caregivers on the current regulations, the appropriate seats for their children, and specific steps necessary to ensure the correct installation of the car seat in the vehicle. Our end goal is to reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities.

See our contact page to find a technician in your area.  If you’re not on the Island you might find someone near you on this map.