St.Vincent Fishers keeping traveling babies safe with car seat inspections

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St.Vincent Fishers’ certified car seat technician Amanda Craft demonstrates proper methods for strapping baby volunteer Kooper Noone into her car seat before showing how to properly install the seat into a vehicle. (Photo by Sam Elliott)

St.Vincent Fishers’ certified car seat technician Amanda Craft demonstrates proper methods for strapping baby volunteer Kooper Noone into her car seat before showing how to properly install the seat into a vehicle. (Photo by Sam Elliott)

By Sam Elliott

Amanda Craft knows parents of infants and young children, both first-time and experienced, aren’t perfect. As a certified car seat technician at St.Vincent Fishers Hospital, she’s seen the proof, but wants to help parents transport their children safely by properly installing and using their car seats.

“Just about every time I do a car seat safety check here, I run into at least one thing that parents are doing wrong, whether the base is not level or the child’s not appropriately strapped into the car seat, or a lot of times I see things that are happening in the car seat like hanging toys or mirrors, or the car seat isn’t tight enough and moves more than one inch when it’s strapped in,” Craft said. “Just about every car seat check we do has something that isn’t right.”

The most common safety issues Craft sees is car seats not secured tightly enough. Once in place in a vehicles back seat, a car seat shouldn’t be able to be moved more than one inch in any direction. She said other frequent problems include toys hanging from a car seat’s handle, which can become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident, or straps not securing a child tightly enough in the car seat. Chest and waist straps should be tight enough so that no slack can be pinched together.

“You have to understand that little newborn babies kind of close into themselves,” Craft said. “They’re used to being tight and being tight in their mother’s bodies, so too tight isn’t usually an issue. You want them as tight as you can get them.”

St.Vincent Fishers Hospital, 13861 Olio Rd., offers car seat safety checks on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

“You can call 317-338-CARE and that’s our line to schedule an appointment to have your car seat checked,” Craft said. “If your children are present, that’s even better because then we can make sure that they are appropriate for that seat. And if they’re not, we can provide a car seat at no cost.”


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