SWEETWATER COUNTY — There is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. On Feb. 14, we celebrate Valentine’s Day to honor those we love. What better way to do that than to keep them safe?
This Valentine’s Day, Safe Kid’s Sweetwater County Chapter, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (MHSC), and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) started one family off on the road to safety.
As part of the Gift of a Mother’s Love Program, sponsored by Safe Kids Wyoming, the Wyoming Department of Health and CRMC, the first baby born on or closest to Feb. 14 at MHSC was presented with a brand new infant child safety seat and other safety devices to help ensure his/her safety.
The lucky winners were Jenna Perez and Jessie Martin Perez, who delivered a baby boy, Evan Jackson Perez on Valentine’s Day at 6:25 pm.
Stephanie Heitsch, the coordinator for Safe Kids Wyoming and Injury Prevention Coordinator with CRMC, said that in today’s traffic conditions, vehicle occupants of any age are in constant danger. There are more vehicles on the road that are traveling at higher speeds and more distractions for the driver, such as cell phones, GPS navigation systems, and on-board music and DVD players just to name a few. These increased risks affect not just the driver, but everyone in the car — especially our children.
Safe Kids Wyoming states that the primary goal this year is to remind all parents and other adults that in Wyoming, children younger than nine years old need to be in a child safety or booster seat.
Heitsch said that as children grow, how they sit safely in a car, truck, van or SUV changes. The following four Steps for Kids can help.
- Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least two years of age.
- Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from two years old to about age four and 40 lbs.
- Use booster seats in the back seat from about age four to at least age nine.
- Use safety belts in the back seat at age nine and older.
Remember, all children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
Some parents or caregivers may regard car seats as a hassle to use or a pain to convince their children to use. But Heitsch said that protecting the ones you love means getting past the temporary complaints and perceived hassles. “Use a child safety seat because you love them,” she said.
For more information about child passenger safety call 307-362-9390 or visit their website. Sweetwater County Safe Kids works to prevent accidental childhood injury — the leading killer of children 18 and under. Sweetwater County Safe Kids is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury.