In 1980, a Kitchener couple, concerned about the safety of young children riding unrestrained in automobiles, began a literature search and letter writing campaign to gather information. Their research led to the realization that young children face numerous hazards. Over the following three years, others with similar concerns for the safety of young children, joined them to form a parent interest group.
In time, requests for information and speakers began coming in. In October 1984, the interest group became The Infant & Toddler Safety Association (ITSA). They formally organized aims and objectives, services, funding and memberships.
In 1985, ITSA held its first Car Seat Safety Check (Clinic) in Waterloo.
ITSA became a registered charity with tax-exempt status in January 1986, and in January 1988, was incorporated by Letters Patent as a nonprofit organization. ITSA is run by volunteers and funded solely through donations, honorariums, fees and reimbursements.
The mission of The Infant & Toddler Safety Association is to provide information and resource materials to increase safety awareness and knowledge in order to reduce early childhood unintentional injuries and deaths. Since the initial interest in automobile restraints, ITSA has expanded its scope to include all facets of paediatric safety and injury prevention.
What does ITSA do?
- Responds to requests for safety information received via the Child Safety Hotline, post or e-mail
- Provides guest speakers to community groups
- Sends speakers to child safety conferences
- Offers training to health care and enforcement professionals, and community volunteers interested in becoming child restraint inspectors
- Maintains an up-to-date listing of child product recalls and safety notices
- Confers with authors and edits child safety articles for major magazines and newspapers
- Collects and reports data to government and other interested agencies
- Responds to proposed legislative changes
- Is a member of the Southwest/Central Ontario Child Passenger Safety Network
- Is a member of Ontario’s Multidisciplinary Seat Belt Committee
- Is a member of the Please Be Seated Car Seat Coalition of Waterloo Region
- Worked on a cross country coalition to develop a national child restraint training standard