Owensboro Health plans to give back by giving away 100 free car seats to those in need Wednesday, July 10. The event Car Seat Safety Check, hosted by Owensboro Health, will feature safety checks on car seats previously installed, those that need to be installed and an opportunity for those in need to obtain a new car seat with the confidence that it’s safe. There will also be certified individuals on hand to demonstrate proper car seat installation.
“We have 50 infant car seats that are for 4 to 35 pounds and 50 convertible booster seats that go from 5 to 65 pounds,” shared Alysia Adams, DNP, APRN, and Director of Trauma Services, Owensboro Health. “The number of tickets that are distributed throughout the county who were maybe utilizing an improperly sized car seat, a car seat that is unsafe, or maybe they are not using a car seat at all, that’s why it’s so important. It’s so that we can improve the safety of the children in the community we serve.”
Car seats will be given away to those attendees who show proof of income as is standard with other needs-based assistance programs.
The event, made possible by the Owensboro Health Foundation, is being held on the final day of a 3-day course designed to properly check and assist in car seat installations.
“The event is a car seat check event,” Adams said. “We have a car seat checklist and we have 22 people that are being certified through Safe Kids Worldwide this week here at Owensboro Health. We’re able to check car seat installations, and we will be able to assist with new car seats that need to be installed to help parents make sure their car seats are installed correctly.”
Not only is the community able to participate in the check free of charge, but the education of car seat safety awareness is also spreading in Daviess and surrounding counties.
“We actually have individuals from the school family resource center, the fire department, police department, multiple nurses, the health park and other individuals from counties that were underserved that maybe did not have anyone available to check car seats,” explained Adams. “Now we’ll have people in the mother-baby unit certified as well that can really speak to the parents. I think that will be very beneficial for our patients.”
Kay Ewing, a certified car seat technician and injury prevention nurse at Owensboro Health is also participating in the event. She hopes to remind the community that injuries are very preventable, and this is something having a child in the correct car seat for their age and weight really can help prevent injury to the child in the event of an accident.
“It’s going to be good because it’s been a while since we’ve had a car seat safety check event. I think people might be more inclined to stop by an event versus scheduling a specific time,” stated Ewing.
Ewing whose children are now grown, also hopes that individuals of all ages including both parents and grandparents will attend, as car seat safety has changed over the years.
“When my children were young, the car seats were more basic — we really didn’t have infant carriers, everything faced forward, and we just had the one bar latch in the front so you didn’t have a harness,” Ewing said. “With the new car seats, just how you install them in the cars are so much different. Grandparents should also come and are welcomed to the event. I think that sometimes there are a lot of new safety things for children and you can become overwhelmed. Being able to check your car seat and make sure it is installed correctly and put your child in correctly just reiterates and helps the grandparent feel more secure when they do travel with the child.”
Their team will also clarify how to check expiration dates on car seats, utilize car seat manuals, and verify if the car seat has been in a car accident, even if the child was not in the seat during the time of the accident, it’s still imperative it be replaced.
The event will be hosted at the Owensboro Health Healthpark located at 1006 Ford Avenue, but will be held in the employee parking lot. The entrance is on Robin Road and individuals attending will exit the parking lot onto Ford Avenue.
Participants may stop by between 1-4 p.m., Wednesday, July 10. More information can be found on their Facebook event page.