September 28, 2021
Child Passenger Safety Month: EveryStep's Stork's Nest Teaches Car Seat Safety
September is National Child Passenger Safety Month, a yearly event that encourages parents and caregivers to not only use child car seats or booster seats, but also to do so properly. According to Iowa law, children from birth up to 6 years old must be secured in a child restraint system (a safety seat or booster seat), and with a booster seat or seat belt after that.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers; however, nearly half of all car seats in the U.S. are installed incorrectly.
EveryStep Stork’s Nest program assistant Crystal Lozano is not surprised by that statistic.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make is loose installation of the car seat,” says Crystal. “Once the car seat is installed, the seat should move no more than 1 inch from side to side.”
Crystal, a certified child passenger safety technician since 2016, teaches participants in EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest program how to properly use car seats using a special simulator training seat provided by Variety Club. “We have it in the Stork's Nest office where I demonstrate how to install a car seat and then let families try it themselves,” says Crystal. “It's very helpful for families to have that hands-on practice and get comfortable knowing how to install the car seat.”
EveryStep’s Stork's Nest is an educational incentive program. Participants earn points for healthy behaviors such as keeping medical appointments, WIC participation, breastfeeding and school attendance. These points may be redeemed at the Stork's Nest for needed baby items like diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs and car seats.
“I had a participant that needed help getting a specific car seat that met the weight requirements for her baby to leave the hospital. We were able to order an infant car seat that met those requirements, and she was very happy and thankful for the help we provided,” says Crystal.
Crystal’s connection with EveryStep’s Stork Nest began as a volunteer for the program and then, with the birth of her first child, as a participant. “My experience with the program helped me get through challenges and learn new things. Being a first-time mom there was a lot I needed to know. I was able to gain knowledge and grow from my experiences. I can share what I learned and offer my support to others. I love helping others and being here at Stork's Nest I get to do just that!”
To see more of Crystal’s story, visit https://youtu.be/GoIXlZmR99o. To find confidential support and care through EveryStep, visit www.everystep.org/find-care. To learn more about EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest, call 515-558-9950 or email Storksnest@EveryStep.org.