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September/October 2021


Top News

We Want to Celebrate YOU!

How did you get into this Wonderful World of Car Seats? Do you have a Tip to Tell? Send us a short statement of what led to you becoming a CPST or CPSTI and you could be featured in the CPS Express. Have a great Tip to Tell – let us hear it and we’ll help spread the word! Email cpscert@safekids.org and on the subject line use: CPS Express…make sure to include your name, position/who you work for, and city/state/location.

Submitted by Beth Warren, Certification Advisor, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Austin, TX)


Tip to Tell

This is a GREAT way to help the students be prepared for the course!

“I send the link to the online version of the tech guide to the registered students prior to the course so they can check out the information before coming to class.”

Submitted by Marsha French, CPSTI, Automotive Safety Program. (Indianapolis, IN)


Continuing the CEU Discussion

Last month we covered the information on the Safe Kids Certification website about CEU Pre-Approval requests. “Improving CPS technical knowledge is the core requirement for CEUs to count toward recertification.” This statement is directly from our website. So, what does this cover? Presentations of different energy management systems on car seats, new seats on the market, designing new car seats, case studies of child occupants in crashes, systems used on school buses, systems for children for special health care needs, to name a few. What are some examples of topics that don’t meet the criteria? Review of information already learned: car seats, harness systems, seat belt systems, practice exercises conducted in the certification course, discussions of how to conduct inspections, grant-writing/use of data in grants, how to be a better educator, and public opinion studies – again, to name a few. If you’re unsure about the topic – contact Certification and let’s discuss it.

Who can submit for pre-approval of CEUs? “Presenters do not have to be a CPST/I, 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.” Again – straight from the SKW Certification website. The coordinator of an update will submit the pre-approval form at least two weeks in advance of the planned update training, and SKW Certification works closely with this person to discuss their event agenda. Once the training is given an event number/s – any changes, additions/subtractions to the agenda requires an amended pre-approval form to be submitted by the coordinator – regardless if the added/substituted presentations have previously been pre-approved. We must retain clear documentation of each CEU being presented at update trainings in case an attendee is audited.

 Submitted by Beth Warren, Certification Advisor, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Austin, TX)


How important is it to update your profile? Very Important!  

Your information on your profile page is the direct link to help remind you of your certification expiration date, assist the public to be able to search you as a technician (if you approve), have your correct information for mailings and emails, print your wallet card and everything that applies to your certification as a technician/instructor.

It’s easy to update your profile page when you have a change to your information. Under “Action” you will see the “Update Profile” link and from here you can change your information, especially paying attention to your email address so we can reach you as needed. If you have a change to your last name, please reach out to us at cpscert@safekids.org for assistance. You also have the option to change your username and password under the Action items.

Another common question is, “why am I not showing up when I have searched for myself (CPS Technician Last Name) on the FIND A TECH search only to see “0” results”? The FIND A TECH search only shows currently certified CPSTs who also approved that their information could be public.    

CPSTs can choose what information appears, just name and state, to contact details. Log into your online profile and click on “Update Profile”. Under “Posted Address”, enter what you want to show in the search results. When you get to the Attributes pages, check the “Permission to Post” box. You can change your posted information and whether you show up at all, any time.

To find out more about your profile page and making changes, go to: How To | National CPS

Certification (cert.safekids.org)

Be safe and stay healthy!

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


Good, Better, Best

Don’t let the pursuit of perfection be the enemy of our Good, Better, Best principle. Philosophers have used various versions of this quote over the centuries – but it still rings true today. When we are working with caregivers and educating them on the proper use of their car seats, remember that their efforts may fall anywhere within the Good, Better, Best principle. NEVER make them feel that they aren’t capable of achieving a correct installation. Certainly, praise them for their effort, give them guidance and any corrective actions that need to be made for a proper installation, but if their “best” isn’t the same as your “best” – as long as their installation is at least on the “good” end of our Good, Better, Best – then it is acceptable. We don’t want caregivers to feel that a correct and proper installation is beyond their ability – as long as it meets the manufacturer’s installation requirements, congratulate their work, sign off on it, and move on.

Submitted by Beth Warren, Certification Advisor, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Austin, TX)


Folklore or Fact?

Over the years many changes have been made to car seat designs and practices. While things change and evolve, people find creative ways to educate caregivers. Sometimes these creative educational practices become larger than life, taking on, at times a factual feel. These made-up facts and terminology become ingrained in our conversations - confusing caregivers and techs alike. Our job as a CPST/I is to educate the universal world of safe car seat use so caregivers understand. When we make up terms or use common acronyms, do they understand and is the term factual or convenient? What are some of these folklore-type stories and terms that aren’t consistent with facts or best practice?

FOLKLORE – “Car seats that only have 40 lbs. and 40 Inch maximums are not good for promoting extended rear-facing children.”

FACT – These seats have started to emerge as designs are produced with new features that caregivers are asking for. While these seats do not have weight limits up to 50 lbs. (like some current brand offerings), 40 lbs. and 40 inches are well within the 2-year age extended rear facing criteria for most children. Some 4-year-olds can still be rear facing in a seat with these maximums.

FOLKLORE – “To get a tight car seat installation, you need to put your entire body weight, knee or feet into the seat or base.”

FACT – While smaller statured caregivers may have to use a little extra effort or “body” to get the slack out of the seat belt to ensure it’s tightened, it is not necessary or recommended by the manufacturers. This extreme method could damage the car seat and many caregivers cannot reproduce this type of installation making them shy away from the car seat install.


FOLKLORE – True-Lock-off

FACT – It’s called a Lock-off – While many seats have built in seat belt lock-offs, some only have a tension door or panel that the belt feeds through or under. These doors/panels require the seat belt to be locked after the seat belt is routed correctly. It would then be locked by switching the retractor to the locked mode or a locking latch plate or using a locking clip, as instructed in the vehicle owner’s manual. If the seat being used has a lock-off, you would use that lock-off to lock the belt in place. The term, True-Lock-Off, is not a real “thing”. It’s either a lock-off or it’s not, the other designs are not a “False” lock-off, they are not a lock-off at all. They are a tension door/panel or belt path, or whatever that manufacturer calls that part of the seat.

FOLKLORE – Soft-Lock

FACT – It’s Locked or its Not! There is no such thing as a SOFT-LOCK. This made-up term has been used by a few CPST/I and it’s slang for using the car seat Lock-Off and then also locking the retractor in the vehicle by pulling it out fully and changing it from Emergency Locking mode to Locked mode. Many do this to ensure the child is unable to tangle themselves in the loose seat belt. Yes, this is a good practice if it’s allowed by the car seat manufacturer; however it’s not a soft-lock. The belt is either locked or it’s not, the term Soft-Lock is a foreign term that has no meaning to a caregiver and even many in the CPST/I world. Many hear the term Soft-Lock and are worried that it’s not truly locked or unsafe. Some believe the term should be used to indicate the lock-off on the seat is being used and then without pulling the seat belt tight, lock the retractor. That is two different actions, the pulling and tightening of the belt is pulling the belt and the locking of the retractor is just locking the belt. Combining the two actions does not need a made-up term like SOFT-LOCK.

Submitted by Bob Wall, Global Car Seat Safety Advocate, Nuna Baby Essentials. (Middletown, VA.)


Lost your CEU documents? Never Received CEU proof? Now being audited?

Many times, audit notifications are sent out and I receive emails/phone calls asking what to do if CEU documents were lost or never received. It is your responsibility as a nationally certified CPS technician to ensure that if you complete a CEU you obtain proper documentation and if not received, then follow-up. Proof of completion/attendance can be a certificate, a passport, sign-in sheet or an email confirmation from the host/organizer. The type of CEU, whether online or in-person, will determine how to retrieve the needed documentation to complete your audit. If you completed your CEUs online or in-person, always start by contacting the host/organizer. For sites offering online CEUs, you should have created an online account profile (different than your Safe Kids Certification profile) for that specific site. Below are some examples of how to locate your CEU documents on different websites.

Safe Kids training portal (Training@safekids.org): Sign into your training portal account, click your name in the upper right corner, select “Dashboard” from the drop-down menu, choose which completed CEU you would like to view then click “View Award” to see the certificate of completion. Print or save it to your computer.

National Child Passenger Safety Board (CPS Board.org): See the step-by-step directions on how to save and print CEU certificates. Sign into your CPS Board profile, scroll down and look under course information.

Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office (CPS Technician Online Trainings (ktsro.org)): Login into the ktsro.org website and click the collapsed menu icon to either log into an existing account or sign up for an account. Once logged in select a course you would like to complete and click “registration”. To retrieve previously completed CEU certificates, log into your KTSRO account, click History, click completed and then select the course. Click “Get Certificate” to either print or save it to your computer.

Texas A&M Agrilife: Recently updated to a new platform: http://agrilifelearn.tamu.edu/s/ Click dropdown menu icon to login and navigate to courses. Type “Child Passenger Safety” into the search bar to see available CEU courses. Select course and click “Add to Cart”, view cart and proceed to checkout to add into “My Courses”. To reprint certificates log into http://agrilifelearn.tamu.edu/s/, click on “My Brightspace” click on “Awards” from the drop down and select the certificate you wish to print.

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

CEU Resources

Online Courses

A variety of continuing education webinars, to fulfill both the CEU requirement as well as seat check alternatives, are available online and free of charge. Learn more.

Community Education webinars, which can fulfill your Community Education requirements or be used as teaching hour alternatives, are also available online at cpsboard.org.

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 recorded and posted on the CPS Board website.

What's New in Booster Research? 
Thursday, September 23, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET (1 CEU)
Register Now

Goodbaby International: Product Update, Winter 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET (1 CEU)
Register Now

More webinars coming soon! Updates posted on Facebook.


For Instructors

Instructor’s Corner

Did You Know? According to the Policy and Procedure Manual – when you register your class, you should request the same number of tech guides/manuals as the number of seats in the class – UNLESS you have manuals left over from previous classes. Extra manuals aren’t “free” resources – the cost of the manual is part of the course registration fee for each student. Please only order what is actually needed and will be used in the class being registered. If you have tech guides on hand from courses registered and then cancelled, use those you have before ordering more for current courses being registered.

From page CA-4 of the P&P: “PLEASE NOTE: MATERIALS - Since unused student manuals are kept, when you add a new course, subtract the number of manuals you have left from the total number of seats and request that number of manuals. EXAMPLE: If you have 5 manuals left from a previous course and you are adding a course with 15 seats, request only 10 manuals when you set up the course online.”

Submitted by Beth Warren, Certification Advisor, Safe Kids Worldwide. (Austin, 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 cpscert@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.

1255 23RD STREET, NW, SUITE 400
WASHINGTON, DC 20037 | PHONE: 877-366-8154


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