Healthcare Professionals: Proud to Wear the CPST Hat
This May is the second year that Safe Kids Worldwide is observing Child Passenger Safety Technician Month by encouraging CPST instructors to reach out to healthcare professionals in their communities about the opportunity to become CPSTs.
Thanks to Safe Kids Worldwide and State Farm, I have the opportunity to travel across the country assisting technical updates for CPSTs. I see firsthand how partnerships with healthcare professionals really do make a difference.
One of my favorite parts of my job is talking with the EMTs, nurses, doctors, and other public health professionals who have recently become CPSTs. Their faces light up when they describe the feeling of wearing the CPST “hat” and working with colleagues and families in their communities. They appreciate the value of spending a little extra time assisting families to make sure car seats are used and installed correctly and that everyone is buckled up, every ride every time.
This is what happens when you become a part of a community of more than 37,000 CPSTs across the country who share one common goal: keeping kids safe. They know firsthand, for example, the importance of making sure a child doesn’t move to a forward-facing seat too soon, or following the manufacturer’s directions when it comes installing the seat securely. They put a great deal of energy into incorporating child passenger safety into their regular duties and transferring this enthusiasm into action by volunteering at local events.
And they go even further. I’ve seen CPSTs take time to help a bewildered new parent or grandparent at the local Walmart or Target. When I ask them why they do it, they smile proudly and say what we all feel, “I know I am making a difference.”
Last year we made significant progress. The CPST Month campaign was a success, with 91 courses offered in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Israel. We certified 1,268 new technicians in May – 12 percent of the year’s new technicians. This year we want to build on that momentum and train even more health professionals to help families travel more safely.
So when you’re looking for the perfect person to become a CPST, please consider reaching out to the healthcare professionals in your community. I can tell you personally, it’s a perfect fit.