I’m a state trooper, a certified child passenger safety technician and a father of four kids under the age of 11, so I understand the importance of safety seats. I’ll never forget the day in March 2014, when I saw for myself just how important they are. I was volunteering at a car seat inspection at the Fabius-Park Township fire department, just outside of Three Rivers, Mich. The forecast that day was for rain and snow. Ice had already started covering the roads.
Every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies while unattended in a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up and become deadly to a child inside. As summer temperatures rise, more kids are at risk – the death toll this summer has already exceeded 20.
Sometimes we do something and have no idea what the long term consequences might be.
I took the Child Passenger Safety Certification Course in 1998. It was one of the original courses offered and I traveled all the way from Louisiana to Texas to be one of the first people to get certified to correctly install and check car seats.
As a certified child passenger technician and instructor, working in injury prevention, I frequently hear this question. Not surprising, given tight household budgets and the constantly increasing costs of raising children.
First, let’s look at the things that rule out using secondhand seats, then we can better determine when it’s okay.
Thirty-two years ago, my first daughter, Jennifer, was born. When it was time to leave the hospital, she was placed lovingly in the back seat of our car, resting comfortably in a very nice but hardly secure Moses basket.
That's right. Just a basket resting on the back seat.
As a longtime member of the Safe Kids staff I was pretty familiar with child safety, long before I became Stephen’s dad 17 months ago, Back then, I didn’t realize the impact Safe Kids would have on my new role as parent.