Recently, thanks to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital's Child Safety Seat Check on June 12th, more than thirty parents received a much needed lesson about the right way for their children to ride in a vehicle.
"I wasn't comfortable with my own ability, turns out it [the child safety seat] was too loose," says Laird Creighton, father to a one-month-old boy. "I feel relieved, some peace of mind."
Five MWPH Certified Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs), along with 10 volunteer technicians, checked about 30 cars and 39 seats.
"Every seat needed at least one correction, further bearing out the national statistic that more than 1 in 8 car seats are misused," says Mt. Washington CPST Caroline Langrall.
Some parents also asked the technicians about buying devices to tighten up car seat belts, or mirrors to see their child in a rear-facing safety seat. Turns out, that's a big mistake, according to Langrall.
"People buy these aftermarket items that are not crash-tested. Parents think they are making their child safer, and it's not true."
Karen Hardingham from the University of Maryland Medical System and Coordinator of Safe Kids Baltimore also wants to remind parents not to turn their safety seat forward-facing too soon.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics now says you should do it closer to two-years-old, and as long as the car seat will allow you to remain rear-facing, and most will go to 35 pounds," she says.
Along with Langrall, other Certified Passenger Safety Technicians from Mt. Washington included Dolly Magsino, Sharon Selko, Amanda Smith and Lesley Wofford. The event was co-sponsored by Safe Kids Baltimore, Maryland KISS (Kids in Safety Seats) and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.