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March 14, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Is that car seat for your child or grandchild properly installed and truly safe?

The National Safety Council heard about Tennessee Tech University's long-standing work on car seat safety and if they could help create a national, digital car seat check form.

If you’re lucky, a project can generate goodwill and other interest that generates new opportunities.

That was certainly the case with Tennessee Tech University’s (TTU) Ollie Otter Booster Seat and Seat Belt Safety Program which travels to schools to talk to elementary students about safety. Since its launch in 2007, the program has touched nearly 1.25 million elementary students at 5,000 schools in nine states.

As described in this TTU news release, the National Safety Council (NSC) heard about the college’s work and contacted TTU’s iCube team to see if it could help create a national, digital car seat check form. Though there is a national program to train child passenger seat technicians (CPST) – those certified to help parents and caregivers select, use and install a correct child restraint for their child – each state had different questions on their forms. The NSC wanted help to consolidate this and make it easily accessible for all technicians.

The iCube staff created a website and the accompanying app, making sure any data shared is secure and that the app would allow technicians to work without WiFi if necessary. Any certified CPST can log in and access the now-streamlined forms that are necessary to help ensure a child’s car seat is installed correctly during an official check. This has also made it possible to log whenever a CPST sees a car seat installed incorrectly by a parent.

Partners with iCube on the program included the National Safety Council, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA, Westat, and the National Child Passenger Safety Board.


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