UH News

New Option for East Side Parents Needing Help with Car Seat Installation

Monday, February 4, 2013

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital opens a car seat checking station at UH Ahuja Medical Center

For east side parents who need help with car seat installation or have questions about the safest way to transport their children in motor vehicles, getting expert help and advice just got a little easier.

The University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention Center has had a car seat fitting station at the hospital’s main campus in University Circle for more than 10 years. In response to community requests, Rainbow is making it easier for east side families to get expert help in choosing and installing car seats with the opening of a car seat fitting station at UH Ahuja Medical Center at 3999 Richmond Road in Beachwood. “We know that many east side families may find it inconvenient to travel into the city during the Rainbow fitting station’s business hours and there are few other options in the area for parents,” notes Kathryn Wesolowski, who leads the UH Rainbow Injury Prevention Center. “We have launched the car seat fitting station at UH Ahuja Medical Center to make it easier for families in eastern suburbs to get the help they need.”

Choosing and installing a car seat can be one of the most important parts of getting ready for your new baby, and an important part of your baby’s transition from infant to toddler and from toddler to preschooler. That’s because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children over the age of 1. Yet a seemingly simple task can be surprisingly complicated. Puzzling directions, a huge variety of seats on the market, a wide array of vehicles and seat belt systems, and conflicting advice from friends and family members can add up to major confusion for parents. “When car seats are not secured properly in vehicles, children are placed in seats that are inappropriate for their age and weight, or children are not belted correctly in their seats, it places children at real risk of injury or death in a crash,” explains Ms Wesolowski.

Families often turn to community resources like fire or police departments for assistance with car seat installation, but sometimes the individual providing assistance has no special training or knowledge of car seat installation and may provide inaccurate information or install car seats incorrectly, giving parents a false sense of security and putting kids at risk. Before getting a car seat check or installation, parents should always ask if the individual is a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician—that means he or she has completed an in depth standardized training course prepared by Safe Kids USA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and offered locally by the UH Rainbow Injury Prevention Center, has demonstrated skill in the proper use of child restraints and safety belts, and takes part in continuing education to stay abreast of developments in the field and keep skills sharp. The 6 nationally certified CPS Technicians and 4 CPS Technician Instructors at UH Rainbow will staff the UH Ahuja fitting station.

The Car Seat Fitting Station at UH Ahuja Medical Center was the brainchild of Joyce and Eric Wald, whose grandson Holden was the first child to have his car seat checked when the fitting station officially opened on Tuesday, February 5. The Walds are long time supporters of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and championed the creation of the UH Ahuja Fitting Station to provide east side families with more convenient access to this potentially life saving service.

The Car Seat Fitting Station at UH Ahuja Medical Center is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 pm to 5 pm. Appointments are required: call 216-844-2277 and choose extension 6 to set up your appointment or get help or advice from one of Rainbow’s nationally certified CPS technicians. The Car Seat Fitting Station at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, located in the visitor parking garage on Adelbert Road in Cleveland, is open Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 3 pm, by appointment only.

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