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September/October 2020


Top News

COVID-19: NEW Recertification Options

Let’s start with a well-deserved THANK YOU! Thank you to all the CPSTs and CPSTIs who have been providing education to caregivers, either virtually or safely distant. Yesterday, you should have received a letter from Torine Creppy, Safe Kids Worldwide President, about changes to the recertification requirements during these unprecedented times. 

As noted in Torine's letter, Safe Kids Worldwide understands that the ability to complete the 5 seat checks and, for instructors, 20 teaching hours, required for recertification may not be feasible in this time of COVID-19. After speaking with several of you in the field to better understand the full scope of the issue, we have made changes to the Recertification Policy. We have also created a COVID-19 Recertification Policy FAQ document.

The new options will be live in the system beginning September 20, 2020. Please visit cert.safekids.org for the most up-to-date information. 

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication.


COVID-19 and Transporting Children: New Guidance from the AAP

Because car safety seats and seat belts cannot be disinfected, caregivers should use alternate means to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during transportation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidance titled "COVID 19 and Safe Transportation in Motor Vehicles." The document includes information for carriers who transport children on school buses and vans, as well as for families.


Sample Virtual Seat Check Videos

Are you a CPSTI or technician proxy who is interested in providing seat check sign offs for CPSTs but don’t know where to begin? Safe Kids Worldwide staff Alexis Kagiliery and Kerry Chausmer recorded themselves as Alexis completed 2 of her seat checks. These videos show real life mock virtual seat checks for recertification.

We hope these videos are helpful and provide some guidance to help you get started.

Examples for Conducting Virtual Seat Checks: Mock 

Example for Conducting Virtual Seat Checks: Real

Seat Check Sign Off Video Reminders

  • We may not have covered what you would have.
  • We may not have explained as you would have liked.
  • Each seat check is unique.
  • At the end, Kerry felt confident enough in Alexis’s technical and communication skills to approve her seat checks.

Virtual Seat Check Education Tips

  • Talk beforehand about expectations.
  • Use earbuds or headphones for better audio.
  • Use an inexpensive tripod or prop your phone up to free up your hands to use for the installation as well as continuous viewing of the session.
  • We used Zoom since it is available for free on all platforms.
  • The recording shows side by side but Kerry was able to have Alexis showing full screen.

Submitted by Alexis Kagiliery and Kerry Chausmer, Safe Kids Worldwide


Virtual CPS Classroom Toolkit from Safe Kids Worldwide

During this pandemic, Safe Kids coalitions and CPSTs jumped into action, pivoted, and came up with practical solutions to complex issues.  Virtual education quickly took center stage and Safe Kids learned that over 80 percent of the coalitions participating in Safe Kids Buckle Up were providing some form of virtual CPS education to replace in-person inspections and parent classes.

Learning from our Safe Kids coalition network is essential for us to identify gaps in programming, track national trends, and conduct pilots that produce customizable evidence-based programs that we can introduce back into the field.  So, a coalition based advisory committee was assembled to develop the virtual CPS class guide and resources. These folks completed a survey prior to our first meeting, providing information on the logistics of starting, implementing and evaluating their virtual CPS programs.  The committee met, used the results of the survey to lead the discussion, which in turn led to topics that we didn’t even consider; included in the guide.

After the meeting members received an outline of what was discussed, which led to the content of the guide, once feedback was collected Safe Kids developed the guide, members then reviewed the draft and provided additional feedback. The group met one final time to discuss the draft of the guide and members volunteered to assist with the supplemental resources that were included. I share this because it took a village to develop the Virtual CPS Class best practice tool kit that is available on the Certification website.

A special thank you to:

  • Jackie Leach; Safe Kids Northern, NJ
  • Marla Branumm; Safe Kids Utah County, UT
  • Helen Arbogast, Marjorie Dias and Iris Garcia; Safe Kids California, CA
  • Purnima Ummi and Mimi Sanders; Safe Kids Cumberland Valley, TN
  • Marissa Abbe; Safe Kids Greater Dallas, TX
  • Jessica Mitchell; Safe Kids Tucson, AZ

If you use the content from the Safe Kids Virtual CPS Class presentations such as the photos, videos and stats please cite the source.  If you use the Safe Kids presentations as is, you can co-brand the first and last slides only, if desired. We hope you find these tools valuable.

Submitted by Alexis Kagiliery, Safe Kids Worldwide (Ormond Beach, Fla.)


Recertification Reminders - Earning CEUs

The purpose of recertification is to ensure technicians stay up to date with advancements of CPS technology and to confirm their technical and communication skills. Part of the recertification requirements are to complete 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which MUST include “NEW CPS technical content” (no reviewing content from the curriculum).

Important tips to remember:

  • Each CEU session (on-line or in person) may ONLY be counted once.
  • Complete CEUs throughout your recertification cycle; do not wait until the last minute.
  • Live online CEU sessions are periodically offered which gives you the opportunity to ask questions, as if you were present at the session.
  • Technicians and instructors may mix and match categories to meet the six required hours of continuing education. (In-person session, Teleconference, Online/Web and/or Newsletters/Manuals/Journals)

Available sites for earning CEUs:

If you are an instructor, manage a CPS program, state coordinator or the local “go to” CPS leader, please share this information along with Tips on how to get CEUs for recertification with your CPS technicians. We would hate for any technician’s certification to lapse when earning CEUs at home are so simple.

Submitted by Debbie Landoskey, Quality Assurance Specialist, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Ormond Beach, Fla.)


CEU Preapprovals!

If you are thinking about holding an in-person session or an on-line session and are not sure how CEUs apply, we are here to help and answer your questions! CEU FAQs

An in-person update, interactive web updates or online courses are structured presentations or session that meets content requirements. Both moderated and non-moderated courses can qualify for CEUs. Moderated courses feature one or more facilitators and course participants can ask them questions. Non-moderated courses often are PowerPoint presentations or recorded webinars that are made available to individuals to view and watch on their own, without interacting with others. If you complete a non-moderated session or course, to qualify as a CEU, it must have an assessment component, such as a quiz, to receive credit. A passing grade is 80 percent.

Many technicians will want to be confident in submitting CEUs that will go toward their recertification without wondering if the event qualifies or has been correctly calculated. Preapproval is not mandatory, but it lets your audience know that your session does count for the specified number of CEUs. If audited, the CPST need only send proof of attendance with the preapproval ID number. CEU documentation should be kept during the certification cycle and for at least three months after re-certification is completed.

If you would like to develop a CEU session and are unsure if it will qualify for CEUs, you can submit the Preapproval Request Form (It is available under Resources-FAQs/Forms/Recertification. Click on the 'CPS CEU Preapproval Request Form' link.), with a copy of your agenda to the Certification Program. You will receive a response within 2 business days. If you do not get a response, please do follow up. Your application and agenda will be reviewed, and your session will be given a pre-approval ID number.

So, what counts towards a CEU?

CEU sessions can be presented by anyone. Presenters do not have to be a CPSTI or a CPST, as long as the content of the presentation is accurate, up to date, and increases the CPS technical knowledge and skill of the CPSTs in the audience.

Improving CPS technical knowledge is the core requirement for CEUs to count toward recertification. Additional information on CEUs can be found at Continuing Education Units.

FAQ: What are some examples of acceptable and unacceptable CPS CEU content? 

Examples of content that would qualify:

  • CR manufacturer workshops/product updates
  • CPS panel at a conference
  • The latest LATCH technology
  • Case studies of child occupants in crashes
  • Car seats and school bus safety

Examples of content that would NOT quality:

These may be very interesting and relevant but do not meet the content requirements for CEUs. Please continue to offer and attend these types of sessions to enhance your CPS communication skills and program development.

  • How to run an inspection station
  • Cultivation and retention of CPS Technicians
  • How to use the national CPS certification online system
  • How to write a grant
  • Tips on how to be a better instructor

Calculating CEUs

FAQ: How do I know how many CEUs an update is worth?

A 45-minute session may be rounded up and counted as 1 hour of continuing education. Sessions shorter than 45 minutes may not be included. You may NOT combine shorter sessions to equal one hour.

  • 3/4 hr. (45 min) - 1 hr. 15 min = 1 CEU
  • 1 hr. 15 min - 1 hr. 45 min = 1.5 CEUs
  • 1 hr. 45 min - 2 hr. 15 min = 2 CEUs

More information on providing CEUs are in the FAQS.

Be safe and stay healthy!

Submitted by Stephanie Heitsch, Certification Associate, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Port Orange, FL.)


Never Say Never: Approved vs. Nonapproved Products

The number one priority with any car seat is to protect a child. Using the car seat as it was designed and tested to be used per the instruction manual is the best way to achieve this. While it may be tempting to add on extra accessories to your car seat, it’s most often not a good idea. The reason being is that car seats go through very stringent testing and evaluation by the manufacturer to ensure the best possible product and therefore safety for children.

The Technician Guide has always deferred to the car seat manufacturer regarding what can be used with their products, though the term has changed from aftermarket to non-regulated to nonapproved.

“Caregivers should follow the car seat instruction manual when considering use of nonapproved products such as inserts, canopy covers, toys, and vehicle seat protectors.

Only products approved by the car seat manufacturer for use with a particular car seat

or booster seat model are acceptable to use. Check both the car seat instruction

manual and the manufacturer’s website for information on use of these products.”

~ CPST Course Technician Guide, page 7-12

If a non-approved accessory is used, safety could become compromised due to the unknown interactions between the non-approved accessory and the car seat. Step 1 is to READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You will find what accessories are approved for a given car seat. Follow the instruction manual to ensure the best possible protection for your child.  

One example of how a car seat manufacturer describes approved accessories in this GRACO instruction manual:

If a caregiver wants to use a product that didn’t come with the seat, never say never and check the manual.

Submitted by Drew Kitchens, CPS Board Child Restraint Manufacturer Representative (Atlanta, GA)


So how good are your CPS communication skills?

Who remembers the communication exercise game of explaining how to tie a shoe without using any visual clues? And who thought that was difficult? Now think of a caregiver with a newborn, who knows nothing about car seats or how to install them. How can you walk them through their installation on the telephone?

Well in this time of social distancing and the increase in virtual learning, our communication skills are more important than ever. The certification curriculum has a caregiver communication section but that may not be practiced as much as actual technical skills. But if you are truly following the Learn, Practice and Explain model then verbal communications should be a primary focus. The model does not say Learn, Practice and Show or Demonstrate.

The use of video technology platforms such as Zoom or Facetime gives CPSTs the ability to see if the caregiver is understanding from their visual cues of head bobbing and actually seeing them play show and tell as they complete a task. But what about caregivers that do not have access to the technology? We still want to provide education and answer questions so verbal telephone communication skills are still imperative. This may take practice by some people so setting up mock exercises with other CPSTs may be helpful. You may want to develop an outline/script to ensure you touch on all aspects of the type of seat being installed or discussed. Keeping it simple by following the Selection, Direction, Harnessing and Installation areas will keep you on task.

Knowing the proper basic terminology and their descriptions will allow you to communicate easier. Some may be accustomed to picking up the tether and showing it to a caregiver or saying vague statements such as “take this and connect it to this” without  using terminology or even descriptions. The Safe Kids Ultimate Car Seat Guide and NHTSA both have a glossary of terms which can be used to review car seat terminology. In addition, with not having visual cues from the caregiver, you will need to confirm the caregiver is comprehending by asking more questions and having them repeat back some of the information.

Remember, nothing should ever replace an in-person inspection, but this can be used as a supplemental tool and in-person inspections should still be encouraged once it is safe to do so.

Submitted by Debbie Landoskey, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Ormond Beach, Fla.)


Coming Soon: NDCF major platform update

The National Digital Car Seat Check Form (NDCF) program is preparing to launch an updated website, apps (Apple, Android and Amazon), and a new paper check form. On or after October 1st, any CPSTs with existing accounts should refresh your browser at www.carseatcheckform.org, update your app(s), and download the new PDF check form. Please visit the CPS Board website for more information about orientation opportunities, new training videos and resources to support field use in conjunction with this update.

Some features of this update include:

  • Alignment across all check forms: web, app and paper - including skip patterns
  • Skip patterns eliminating the need to answer questions that are no longer relevant based on previous answers
  • A new data dashboard that will populate monthly with clean data
  • Question to identify and track virtual seat checks

All  the updates made have been based on feedback from the field. The new platform has been extensively tested, and we are excited to share the updated platform with you. We also look forward to your partnership and feedback as this resource continues to evolve in an effort to maximize benefits to CPSTs and their programs.

Submitted by Amy Artuso, National Safety Council (Itasca, Ill.)


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reports 

The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is responsible for providing a wide range of analytical and statistical support to NHTSA and the highway safety community at large. 

2018 data from the Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS): This represents the second year of nationally representative data from the modernized CISS – the replacement of the National Automotive Sampling System Crash Worthiness Data System (NASS-CDS).  The estimates from CISS are representative of all police-reported crashes that involved at least one passenger vehicle that was towed from the scene of the crash. Along with this release, NCSA is also releasing updated data from the 2017 CISS.  These changes were applied because of stringent quality control measures implemented into CISS.

In support of this release, NCSA has also made available numerous technical publications that should assist users of the data in both statistical and clinical reviews of the data.  These publications can be found here.  In addition, extensive clinical review of the CISS cases, including photographs, can be conducted using the CISS case viewers here.

The full CISS datasets for 2018 and 2017 can also be downloaded in multiple formats here.

Access to NCSA’s publications, data or data tools here.


CEU Resources

This section provides information on nationally available continuing education opportunities. We are not able to include information on state or local conferences, training or other technical updates if they cannot be made available nationally. This information is provided as a resource only. Events and activities listed here are not endorsed by Safe Kids Worldwide unless otherwise noted.

CPS Express CEU Corner Submissions: Please e-mail the necessary information (in the format below) to Kerry Chausmer.



Online Courses

A variety of webinars are available online and free of charge. Learn more.


Upcoming Safe Kids Webinars

Safe Kids is now using Zoom webinars. If you are not able to use Zoom or miss one, most webinars are record and posted on the CPS Board website.

Harmonized Statements
Thursday, September 10, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Register Now

Manufacturer Update: UPPAbaby
Thursday, September 17, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Register Now

Product Development/Why Can't You Just Do This
Thursday, September 24, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Register Now

CPS Jeopardy!
Thursday, October 8, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Register Now

More webinars coming soon! Updates posted on Facebook.


For Instructors

CPS Certification Course: Can I offer it virtually?

At this time, there is no approved e-learning platform available for the CPST curriculum. The National CPS Board routinely works with its partner entities as the world evolves in Child Passenger Safety, which may allow for future virtual or e-learning opportunities. The Board always welcomes feedback and invites you to submit suggestions using the 2020 Curriculum Feedback Form. Thank you for reaching out.

Submitted by Lonny Haschel, National Child Passenger Safety Board (Garland, Tx.)


Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Safe Kids Worldwide
CPS Certification 
1255 23rd Street NW, Suite 400 
Washington, D.C. 20037
Phone: 202-875-6330

Ideas and Article Submissions

Advocates and manufacturers are welcome to submit articles, or suggestions for articles, to the CPS Express!

Send your ideas and submissions to kchausmer@safekids.org.

All submissions may be edited for content and length.

Policies and Procedures Manual   Code of Conduct   Contact Us

National CPS Certification Training is a program of Safe Kids Worldwide, which is the certifying body and responsible for managing all aspects of the program.

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