Story time!

This contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!  Winner(s) to be announced soon.

It’s Story Time at Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs…and we’re feeling generous 🙂

Thanks to many of you doing your online shopping via Amazon.ca, shop.ca, and via ebates.ca we have amassed a small nest egg with which to buy you…something. What better way to brighten up this long and frosty winter than with a story!

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We’ve shared many stories with you: traveling with babies, how we became involved in this field, our thoughts on new seats, and more. Now it’s time for you to share your stories with us.

Submit via a paragraph, a photo, or a video. Tell us a car seat related story about something you need, something you want, some problem we’ve helped you solve, something that’s just fun and car-seat related, something inspiring you learned from us or another tech, nominate a friend who could use a little help to keep his or her kids safe in the car and what you’d pick for them. Tell us anything you’d like to share! Please keep in mind your photo, video, or paragraph could be shared with our readers (whether they win or not), so keep personal privacy in mind, and ensure you have the right to share a photo or video of any children pictured. Please include a line with any video or picture of children shared that you are the legal guardian/parent of the child and/or have permission from the legal guardian/parent, and that you give Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs permission to share the picture or video. (If you are not the legal guardian/parent and ultimately win, we will need permission directly from the parent as well.)

We’ll whittle the entries down to our top favourites and then let our readers narrow it down further. The final winner is up to us though! But bonus – a random winner will also get to choose one of several smaller prizes, to be determined based on need and location.

The ultimate first prize winner will get to choose a seat or seats as needed, from a retailer of our choice and eligible for free shipping, to a maximum value of our choosing. The seat must be a good fit for the child and vehicle at the time of the contest close following best practice guidelines. (ie. We won’t be buying a forward-facing seat for a one year old or a booster for a three year old!) We may, at our discretion, choose one or more honorary mentions to win further prizes or our choosing.

To enter your story:

  • Post a photo or video to a file sharing site like flickr, photobucket, youtube, etc.  Provide the URL of the photo or video in the Rafflecopter box below where it asks for it.
  • Or, email it to us. Please don’t email videos, but please do email photos, your story, or email a link to where the photo/video is hosted.  Include your email in the Rafflecopter box below so we know where to look for it.

One entry per household please.

The random winner will be chosen via the Rafflecopter below. One entry for submitting an entry for the first place prize, plus additional entries for liking our page, sharing content, tweeting about us, etc. Please note, you will receive 10 bonus entries if you refer a currently-certified CPSAC tech to our find-a-tech map on the Canadian Car Seat Network page. It must be a tech that is not currently listed. The tech must fill out the form located above the map, and then you can enter their name in the appropriate place below.

Open to residents of Canada 19 and over except where prohibited by law, and excludes the three admins of VI Car Seat Techs and their immediate household family members, and anyone who has won a prize from us in the past six months. Only one entry per household please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

45 comments to Story time! Car seat give away

  • kara johnstom

    This page has been so useful over the last two years. The volunteers have helped me keep my girl as well as many others safe and buckled in properly. I had no idea about so many of the de tails of car seat safety. I use the website as a great link for resources and recommend your fb page all thw time. Tha k you for keeping our littles safe.

  • Krista

    Thanks for another great opportunity.

  • Melissa bell

    Thanks for posting relevant info 🙂

  • Beth R

    I love that you share stories…it will no doubt make parents feel they are not alone in struggling with finding the right seat for their kids, dealing with cleaning up food/puke/whatever else out of carseats, dealing with kids in the backseat of the vehicle while driving etc

  • Angela

    I love that I stumbled across your page 🙂 from my first child it tought me the right ways to buckle up, no bulky layers and after market bundle bags to keep him safe . The advice on choosing a car seat best suited for your child is excellent we learned a lot after purchasing out first car seat for our son that maxed out rf at 30 lbs ( yikes). My son is still 5 point harnessed at 5 years old and will stay that way until he outgrows his seat and our dd we got the diono so we can extend rear face her after learning about the importance of it trough your teachings and informative articles.

  • Angela Goerz

    Thank you so much for all of your info! Because of your advice, I have two happy little boys rear facing in their comfy Dionos! 🙂

  • I don’t know how many kids lives and bodies u guys have and are saving including my son and baby #2 I’m proud to re omend any one to this site

  • Thank you for the chance to enter! Baby number 3 after many years between will need a seat!

  • Philecia

    My STORY,
    I am always grateful and trust your advice whenever I need it! Ever since I had my son I am so aware of other children’s safety around me when it comes being in a vehicle. I know what to look out for, I know how to lend a hand. I share the sales, I scope out deals and I share every post so that others can see the information that everyone should. I even commit to taking time out of my life a couple days a week to look up used car seat ads online and any I know that have been recalled or expired I notify the seller immediately (and its shocking how many are posted everyday on Vancouver craigslist especially ones 4yrs expired and recalled to boot! UGH). I’m always checking transport Canada for recalls, I am always conscious to be up to date and aware because children’s lives depend on it. So many parents don’t know and so many parents are buying used and not realizing they are putting their children at risk. I try to help in the way that I can with best intentions and a kind heart and I have them thank me, its incredible!
    So that’s my story…since becoming a mom and finding this page, its helped me and encourages me to do the same in the way I can!
    My son is turning 1 in a couple weeks yet still fits his infant car seat by weight and height amazingly! But it is time in a matter of week when he will outgrow it…so we are scrambling to meet ends meet and budget for a car seat we feel comfortable with. And I feel that this is such a huge milestone for our growing baby boy, something about the next stage up “car seat” makes me have butterflies in my tummy and starts up some tears. Goodbye first year…good bye baby car seat waah
    But another new journey and will make it as safe as we can!

  • Ani W

    I entered the contest yesterday and with the sharing of the info picture I helped two moms who considered themselves well informed on car seat info 🙂

  • Holly

    Absolutely love the S.E.A.T.S page. Best place to get correct information and advice. Best program to get your carseat install checked out. When my son turned 4 months he wouldn’t fit his graco bucket anymore, He was too tall and the straps were cutting in on his shoulders. SEATS techs tried him in various seats at a clinic and set us up with a good fitting seat for his long body.

  • Michelle

    Amazing giveaways/contests and advice. Thabks for helping keep children safe.

  • The time came for us to upgrade our family vehicle and while most would just go out and buy a vehicle of their choosing I had other criteria in mind. After seeing all the help you all put forth into fitting car seats into certain vehicles I directed my husband to your site and after doing so his vehicle dreams came crashing down. Lol. Needless to say with all the info you provide and the horror stories of fitting seats into some vehicles including 3rd row with anchors etc. his new way of car shopping began by looking through many car seat forums. We finally found a vehicle that fit our car seat needs!

  • Carissa

    Hello
    My son would really love this seat giveaway. Unfortunately he put grew his harness and I couldn’t afford a harness seat that goes to higher weight limit. He is now in a booster and he sits in it fine till he falls asleep. I would love for him to go back into a harnessed seat as I know it is the safest seat for him to be in. He is 4 and 42 lbs. thank you for the chance for this.
    – carissa

  • Lindsay Hook

    My daughter was born 8 weeks early at a teeny tiny 3 lbs 12oz.. since then, your site has been such a wealth of knowledge for me to help buckle her up safely! At first there was many receiving blanket rolls to support and cradle her tiny body, now she is a big strong 21 lbs, and 18 months!! We are still in her original Snugride 35, and plan on keeping her rear facing as long as possible. Once she finally outgrows this seat, i am excited to upgrade to a convertible seat that lets us RF her as long as we can!! Thank you so much for being such an awesome voice for car seat safety!!!!

  • My story!

    Almost 8 years ago now, I was 8 months pregnant with our second child, and our oldest had just turned one. We drove an old 1985 VW Golf. I didn’t know about extended rear-facing at the time, but did know how important a solid install was. We had just gotten a tether anchor retrofitted in order to put my oldest forward facing. Days after I installed my sons new, forward-facing seat, we were driving down the highway at a van pulled out right in front of us. Thanks for my husbands defensive driving we avoided being t-boned at full speed. The driver hit the back drivers door (where my son was sitting), we spun in around 1 1/2 times, skidded out in the dirt. The door was smashed shut, but thanks to a properly installed seat and some guardian angels watching, my son was fine. My husband and I suffered from whiplash and sore necks, but the one year old seemed totally fine in the days following.

    The police officer and paramedics both commented on how snug the car seat was installed and that it hadn’t shifted at all despite the impact. The importance of having the correct seat, properly installed can not be under-estimated. Accidents happen when you least expect them, so we always need to put safety first.

  • Annabel

    Love this site! I entered and can’t wait to see the winners!

  • Barbara Ryper

    My Story:

    I have become an un-official car seat spokesperson in the last 2.5 years since my daughter was born. When I first started using carseats I had no idea how much there was to know.

    Now I find myself advocating for extended rear facing, and letting strangers know that when rear facing the straps need to be at or below shoulder level.

    I keep getting asked if I am a tech, or plan to become one. Sadly when the course was offered in Nanaimo my daughter wasn’t at an age where I could easily leave her for a weekend to take the course, but I will be keeping my eyes open for when it comes up again.

  • Well my story began 5 years ago when my oldest was born ….. Not knowing any better I bought the cheapest infant seat & my husband installed it himself …. When that seemed wrong we went to a local firehall & had them do it. Little did I know that it was also wrong :O

    Fast forward to him quickly outgrowing our 22lb infant seat we again bought a cheap $99 walmart special & yet again installed it wrong :/ …. At 12m I did what everyone told me too …. I forward faced my sweet 24lb 12m old 🙁

    When he was 16m I had more than enough of our hard to use bulky seat & discovered a love for a cowmoo Britax!!!! That then lead to a discovery that everything I thought I knew about car seats was SO wrong 🙁

    I turned my DS back rear facing in our new beautiful cow seat & did my best to be as educated as possible on car seat safety. I spent hours & hours researching & then developed an obsession lol not only for car seats but for keeping children safe in the vehicle.

    I am now a CRST & a very proud mom to another little boy who has been blessed with proper car seat use from the start lol 😛

    My 5 year old is still harnessed in a frontier CT & booster training in a Graco Safety Surround Turbo! Oh & if anyone is wondering my short torsoed little man stayed RF in his cowmoo Britax until 3y9m 🙂 my littlest man is now 18m & happily RF in the Britax …. Although I have hopes of a Peg seat in our future 😉

  • Jessica Jurak

    Thanks for the opportunity 🙂 your group is an amazing resource for us!

  • Paige Miller

    I emailed my entry and would love to try and win something.

  • When my DS3 was 1 year, 22 lbs, and walking unassisted we decided to move him out of his bucket seat and into the integrated car seat in our vehicle. After all, that was the next natural step, right I buckled him into the seat for the first time, stepped back, and marveled at how tiny he looked in that big seat. I admit, he looked very small and helpless. I made a few remarks about what a big boy he was and we drove to our destination. On the way, my little guy fell asleep. His little head had flopped over, and there were no supports at all beside his head. When my husband got home that night I told him I wasn’t sure how safe the integrated car seat was. We had previously patted ourselves on the back for not needing to buy a car seat at all for this next stage, but now we started to doubt that was the right decision. I started to research car seat safety and found so much information that supported keeping children rear facing for as long as possible. We decided that keeping our little guy safe was the most important thing, and invested in a seat that allowed him to rear face until he was 3.5 years old!

    We are so thankful for the information that your website (and others like it) provides, to help educate parents and to keep babies and young children safe!! We’re now gearing up to move our youngest from his bucket seat into a convertible seat, and we plan on rear facing him until he hits the rear facing weight limit!!

  • Lisa Pereira

    My name is Lisa, and I am a crazy car seat lady!
    Really that is how I should have introduced myself that day. I was halfway into a friend of a friend’s car starting to properly install her car seat when she returned and my friend introduced me to her. I just couldn’t leave it alone, I had looked into the backseat of the car where the kids were all sitting and noticed that the car seat wasn’t LATCHed into the car at the bottom – no problem, it must have been installed with the seat belt – Yikes…it wasn’t attached to the car at all except for by the upper tether! I had to fix it. So that was how I met one of my now good friends. She was horribly embarrassed, claimed that this was a new seat that you didn’t have to attach at the bottom, only the top tether. I explained to her how to properly install the seat, got it in nice and tight, and went on my way. It’s not the only time I have corrected a car seat install, and I know that it won’t be my last. I want all the kids around me to be as safe as possible in the car.
    I am one of those people who gets excited looking at the specs of new car seats, I am happy to buy the top of the line seats for my own kids and recommend the best seats to my friends. I had my kids rear-facing until they were almost three, which most people around me considered excessive at the time, but I knew it was safer. Now, my 6 year old twins still sit happily in their 5-point harnesses and my 8 year old just switched to a high-back booster seat last year. I have loved all the amazing advice I’ve gotten from your site over the years, and the info on seat sales and recalls has awesome.
    My kids are nearing the age of not needing car seats anymore, it will be a sad day for me when my booster seats and Britax Frontiers are tucked away and my kids have only the vehicle’s seatbelts to keep them safe. So why am I entering this contest I have an amazing friend who is about to have a baby and I would love to win her an amazing car seat to keep her child safe, rear-facing and happy for many years to come. I would love to know that her baby will always be properly harnessed in a well installed seat. I’m sure I will always be a crazy car seat lady, long after my kids outgrow their seats. In fact, I know I will always be looking out for the safety of other kids in their cars. It is never a bad thing to care about others and their safety.

  • I found this site through another mommy from my mommy group. I had been thinking about car seats for a while
    And was finding the decision intimidating. Jen was able to tell us what seats are best for our baby, our cars and reminded us to adjust our seat for his weight. I love this FB site and I’ll recommend it to everyone.

  • Thanks to your site, car-seat.org, and others I have learned so much in the past year and a half about car seat safety. It has been just over a year since I turned my then 2.5 year old back rear-facing in both my car and my husbands, which he has been totally fine with, and he will stay that way until this spring when he turns 4. My 23 month old will continue rear-facing and the new baby due in June will be extended rear facing as well. I don’t really need a new seat, but a new infant seat would sure be nice to help with the tight three across in our secondary vehicle and with our current snugride expiring in December it would be great to have a new bucket to get the baby through our cold Edmonton winter! Thanks for another great contest and all of the wonderful info you share!

  • Michelle

    Would love to win this for a very deserving kid

  • Brittany

    My daughter is 3 months old and I have been following your page for all of my pregnancy to make sure I buckle he right and to make sure I installed her seat properly! I would love to win the next stage seat for her to rear face as long as possible! If not, I will be following your posts still for deals for when we buy!

  • Barb Zacchigna

    I recently went on a trip to Mexico, I was pleased to read the emergency instructions and find out that Can Jet was car seat friendly on their plane. Unfortunately, a few parents had lap babies, and children slightly over 2 in regular seatbelts. We all arrived safely there and home. I’m hoping in future that more parents will become aware of the safety issues for their children and the other passengers to be properly restrained in an airplane.

  • Candace

    We struggled for a really long time with our car seats. We fought about it. A lot. We went to clinics and specific techs to MAKE SURE THEY WERE INSTALLED CORRECTLY. We donated a lot of money. So I decided to become a tech. I feel so empowered!!! I can now confidently install my seats in any car. I never rely on my partner. In fact, every time he installs a seat he asks me to check it 🙂 I tell everyone I know about how good it feels to have these skills. It’s amazing! I encourage anyone and everyone who transports children to take the course!

  • Thanks for being here for help when needed regarding all things car seats. It is nice to know I have somewhere to go when I have questions.

  • Thank you all for all you do! I love knowing I can go to the facebook page, ask a question, and trust the answer!

  • Rachel Zalinko

    Not sure how to post a photo … My story is that we just bought a fancy dancy new (to us) VW Jetta wagon to replace our gas guzzlin’ suburban. We all love our new ride, but three growing boys in the compact back seat is a bit of a problem. Oldest is without a booster in the middle, youngers have high-back boosters. One of our boosters has really wide arm rests so it interferes with the boy in the middle. Anything I can do to keep the peace better would be amazing. I’m looking for a nice slim high-back booster. Budget is small, so if you want to give me one, that’d be great!

  • Mary-Kathryn

    Great website… love all the new information. When you know better, you do better. Recommend this site all the time!!

  • sunshine

    I have learned and shared so much from your page, and a more local page (Ridge Meadows Carseat Safety) and I am on some mom pages. Whenever someone posts something like ‘I need a new seat, what should I get’, I reply “different seats work better in different vehicles, think about joining a car seat tech page, and ask there including your child’s height and weight, and the type of vehicle you drive. Then set up a time to meet with a tech to either try seats in your car with you before you buy, or to help you install once you have purchased it.”. Today I also said something to someone who had their infant seat in the top of the grocery cart. For me this is a huge step (social anxiety, especially about talking to someone in a way that could be considered confrontation), but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I hadn’t said something.
    So that’s my story, I try to spread the word the best that I can, and was even unfriended on FB by someone after suggesting she think about rear-facing longer (1st birthday, changed to forward facing). Of course, the irony (to me) is, I don’t even have a vehicle. But I do have a carseat!

  • Love this website – I use it almost daily to find info for myself or a friend/random person who is looking for seat recommendations or info. Keep up the great work and knowledge sharing!

  • Jen

    Love love love your website and have shared this amazing resource with so many friends. Thanks for all the tips, recos and contest opps!

  • Sasha

    Our daughter was born early and we were so grateful for all of your wonderful
    advice and blog posts. Based on the information we read (thanks in no small part to you!) we selected an appropriate car seat, which was checked by a tech to keep our
    sweet preemie safe! Thanks again for providing this wonderful resource to educate people!

  • Lindsay Wilson

    Oh I love this page, and all that you do for the public, and for FREE!

  • Maggie Jacula

    We are grateful for the excellent support we have received from Jen. Our boys mean so very much to us and it gives me great comfort when we are out and about to know that they are as safe as we can make them. Our youngest little man is growing like a weed and before we know it he will need a new car seat. Thank you so much for your advice and support!

  • Catherine

    What an amazing giveaway! You folks run a great site. 😀

  • Kandis Mundy

    Here is a quick story of our journey to better car seat safety:
    In early 2006, we welcomed our very first babe. We were young and keen and thought we had it all figured out. When he turned one, we did what ‘all’ parents did and invested in our first convertable car seat, and turned our 20lb babe forward facing. After all, that was what was suggested at the time, and what the car seat manufacturers, public health, ICBC etc. recommended. In 2008, we welcomed another baby to the family, this time a wee girl! When she turned one, she had not reached 20lbs, and much to everyone’s dismay, we kept her rear facing until she reached that point at a whopping 15 months. Not gonna lie, we felt pretty darn proud of ourselves for going against the ‘norm’ and keeping her rear facing until she actually reached all of the requirements, When it seemed that most turned at one whether they were big enough or not. Fast forward to early 2011 and along comes baby number 3 – another boy:-) I spent the next year of his life researching the heck out of car seats and car seat safety, and when he turned one, without hesitation, we kept him rear facing. Which he remained up until he was nearly 3. We now have another beautiful baby girl, who is nearly 5 months old, who will remaining rear facing for a LONG time!
    Although, I do have serious mommy guilt thinking back on how we did things with our first two, when you know better, you do better, and that is exactly what we have done. Thanks to Facebook pages and websites like this, we all have access to loads of valuable information as well as help and support from some amazingly knowledgable ladies, and I know I speak not only for my own family, but many many others, when i say, that we are beyond thankful for that!
    We are now on the cusp of needing two more seats for our brood. A full sized seat for our little babe, that we are able to use for extended rear facing, and a forward facing seat for our skinny mini almost 6 year old who has nearly out grown her forward facing seat by height, but is only a whopping 32lbs, and has a long way to go before she can be out of a 5 point harness!
    Thank you for once again running an awesome contest that our family would be THRILLED to win!!