Taking a check on car seat safetyPublished 10:43pm Thursday, September 13, 2012
The county’s youngest residents will be travelling a little safer after Monday.
Sara Cutler has booked State Trooper Jeff Collins to check that car seats are being properly used. The free check will take place at Washington Pediatrics, 1206 Brown St., from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cutler, an employee at Washington Pediatrics, said she was inspired to organize the check after watching patients leave the office.
“A lot of times we have new parents come in and they’re just using it wrong. You can see it from inside,” she said.
Lisa Woolard, executive director of the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children, said pediatrics offices are often “the last line of defense” for new parents, the last professional they see before driving their child home.
“We’d love to see more people like you,” Woolard told Cutler. “We need more people willing to do this.”
The partnership donated two booster seats, a big kids car seat and a convertible car seat that can be used for babies and toddlers. Those who visit Washington Pediatrics for Monday’s car seat check will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for the seats, Cutler said.
The partnership’s childcare health consultant, Sherry Clark, is a certified car seat inspector. She provided English and Spanish brochures for the check and gave Cutler a few tips to emphasize at the event.
“It’s five times safer to face backwards. Even if they have to fold their feet, it’s still safer,” Clark said. “In Europe, they (children) stay backwards until they’re 5 or 6 years old.”
She said children under 13 should not ride in the front seat of a car unless the air bag can be deactivated and car seats are to be thrown out after wrecks.
“They recommend that you don’t buy used car seats because you don’t know the history,” Clark added.
She gave Cutler checklists for people with used car seats to use to inspect them.
Anyone unable to attend Monday’s check may call the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children at 252-975-4647 to make an appointment for a check.