Safe delivery, beyond the delivery room
It’s the law: an infant must travel in a car seat that meets safety specifications so they can be protected, because even the most loving arms cannot adequately protect a baby in the event of an accident.
Yet it’s sometimes a challenge for new parents to afford a car seat. Other times, babies come early, before important items like car seats have been purchased. Then there are times when a car seat has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and must be replaced before the family can safely transport their child.
Car seat program
Protecting the most vulnerable members of our community is a top priority. That’s why Community’s Car Seat Program was launched a few years ago and why it now helps families in need at all of Community’s hospitals.
“The reason we started the Car Seat Program is that we had a number of patients who would not have a car seat to take the baby home in,” says Amy Wire, Director of Community’s Maternity Services. “Sometimes they had a car seat, but it looked aged, or they didn’t know if the car seat had ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident, which would compromise its effectiveness.
“Then, as the nurses asked more questions, they sometimes learned that the car seat had been bought at a garage sale. We felt like it was really unsafe to send a baby home in a car seat like that. And it’s a problem we see often . . . in fact, in 2015/2016 we distributed more than 1,000 car seats.”
Car seat inspection stations
In 2017, Community Health Network Foundation received a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to purchase car seats for families in need and to begin the groundwork to eventually open Car Seat Inspection Stations at Community Hospitals North and East.
“It’s imperative that Community promote safety from the beginning,” said Wire. “If we save one life by distributing car seats that prevent injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident, then that has a huge impact.”
Would you like to help keep more little ones safe? Consider making a gift to our free car seat program here.