Washington, Mo. – Children’s car and booster seats are designed specifically to protect babies, toddlers and children from injury or death in case of an accident, yet 4 out of 5 car seats are installed improperly.
“Improper installation interferes with the job car seats were designed to do and that could lead to harm in an accident,” said Nicki Harriman, a nurse at Mercy Hospital Washington’s maternal child department and a certified child passenger safety technician.
The best way to ensure proper installation is to have a child’s safety seat installed or checked by a certified technician. Certified technicians are available by appointment at Mercy Hospital Washington and some fire departments. People who work in public safety, who work with young children and belong to families with young children would benefit from being certified.
The Maternal Child department at Mercy and Safe Kids St. Louis at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center are hosting a certification course to become a child passenger safety technician. The class meets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 27, to Friday, March 1, at Station 3 of the Boles Fire Protection District, 233 Highway M in Villa Ridge. The course ends with a free car seat safety check-up that’s open to the community on Saturday, March 2, in the parking lot at the Mercy Medical Building South, 901 Patients First Dr. in Washington (formerly the Patients First building). Certification students attend the event from 9 to 3 p.m., the public is welcome from 10 to 2 p.m.
The workshop combines classroom instruction, hands-on work with car seats and vehicles. At the checkup event, students demonstrate skills learned during class, following event procedures and instructions, proper use and installation of child restraints and safety belts and the ability to teach parents and caregivers how to properly protect their family on the road. Successful completion of this course certifies the individual as a certified passenger safety technician for two years.
“Getting certified is a public service,” said Harriman. “You can help the kids in your life and in your community commute safely. If you can’t attend the workshop and you have kids who use safety seats, please stop by the checkup to make sure your child’s seat is properly installed.”
To enroll in the workshop to become certified, visit http://cert.safekids.org/ click on Find a course, select Missouri and then select Villa Ridge. Or call Nicki Harriman at 636-239-8500. The cost is $75 to Safe Kids, which can be paid online when you enroll and an additional $25 to the local agency when you attend the first class. To have a car seat inspected for safety, recalls and proper installation, stop by the Mercy Medical Building South from 10-2 p.m. Saturday, March 2.