Monday, December 2, 2013

Importance of Car Seat Safety Stressed

Child car seat safety is important to most parents but to Daniel and Kristen Icard it is doubly important.  As the parents of two young children they want their children to be safe at all times while riding in the car.

When Kristen was pregnant with her first child she bought the best and safest seat but recognized that the seat was only safe if it was properly installed.  Kristen visited the Alexander County Partnership for Children for a car seat inspection.  As a United Way of Alexander County funded agency, the Partnership for Children serves as a car seat inspection site.  Studies have shown that over 70% of child car seats are installed improperly. 

When Kristen was pregnant with her second child she knew that a properly installed car seat was important in preparation for bringing home her son from the hospital.  A few weeks before the baby was due she made an appointment and stopped in to insure the car seat was installed properly.  A certified car seat technician made some minor adjustments and Kristen rested easy knowing that her newborn would be riding safely.   When asked about the car seat inspection program at the Partnership for Children Kristen quickly responded, “I can definitely say that I would be lost without this service. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person however, car seat installation baffles me! My husband and I both are afraid that we would do it incorrectly. When it comes to the safety of your kids, you want everything to be perfect. We didn't want to take the chance of installing the car seat improperly... So we took them to the experts. There is definitely a sense of comfort and security knowing that your children are safe in their car seats! I insisted that any family member that transported my children to have their car seat installed or checked at the Partnership. I'm very thankful that we have this service in Alexander County!”

Many times car seat inspections become a family event at the Partnership for Children.  Parents come in and have a car seat inspected and then the grandparents will come in.  Joe and Renee Williams, grandparents, expressed appreciation for the service.   Kristen’s mom, Renee Williams, also stops by and has her car seat inspected periodically.  She explained, “My daughter Kristen and son-in-law Daniel insisted that we go to the Partnership to have the car seat installed. When it comes to the safety of the grandchildren, there is no reason not to go to the Partnership! They are the experts!”

Children riding safely is important to the Alexander County Partnership for Children, an agency passionate about inspecting as many car seats as possible to ensure that children are safe and adequately protected while traveling on the roads and highways.  The goal of the Partnership for Children car seat program is to increase parent education while emphasizing the importance of inspections by offering on-site clinics at child care facilities and participating in community awareness events to reach out to the citizens of Alexander County.  If seats are found to be improper they are replaced through United Way funding.  The car seat inspection and replacement program is a free service to Alexander County residents.

Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children, expressed her appreciation to the United Way of Alexander County.  “Without United Way funding our agency would simply not be able to offer this valuable service to the citizens of Alexander County.  Like many nonprofits in Alexander and across North Carolina, our agency has suffered budget cuts that limit our ability to provide necessary services.  With United Way funding the Partnership for Children continues to ensure that children are riding safely.”

Get Up Get Moving Was Successful!!!!


The Get Up Get Moving campaign, offered by the Alexander County Partnership for Children and funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, has ended with Millersville Child Development Center claiming the title of most steps walked during the campaign.  Millersville Child Development Center was also the winner of the October challenge recording 2.7 million steps.  A total of 17,328,122 steps were recorded by the staff participating at Millersville CDC during the six month Get Up Get Moving campaign.

Debbie Morgan was the individual overall winner walking the most steps of any child care provider in Alexander County, 2,151,144  steps.  Coming in second was Shirley Hickerson with 1,953,608 steps.  Debbie and Shirley are mother and daughter who constantly motivated each other.  They would check each other’s pedometer throughout the day to see who was the most active.  They would even call each other in the evening to check on their pedometer step counts.  Both Debbie and Shirley are employed by Millersville Child Development Center.  Debbie was the overall winner for the month of October with   steps.

Other winners recognized for most steps at their center included Dara Grinton from LuLus Child Enrichment Center with 1,509,932  steps and Rita Parson from First Baptist Child Development Center with 642,992  steps.  LuLus CDC was the second place winner with 11,996,578 steps recorded for the campaign.

The Get Up Get Moving six month campaign began in May and ended in October.  Over 41 million steps were recorded by participants using pedometers that recorded each step that participants took.  Each month individuals reported their total steps to their employer and the child care center reported total monthly steps.  This campaign was designed to encourage movement and activity within the child care center.

During evaluations, participants reported feeling better, reducing stress, and losing weight.  Most participants indicated they will continue wearing the pedometer to record steps to ensure a higher level of activity.

Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children, spoke on the benefits of the Get Up Get Moving campaign.  “The Partnership for Children was honored to be chosen to receive funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.  Child care teachers are influential in the physical activity of young children.  Movement throughout the entire day while caring for young children is not only a necessity but a requirement to maintain a successful classroom environment.  Preschool children begin learning about the importance of physical activity in the classroom through their role model, the classroom teacher.  Get Up Get Moving has allowed over 72 teachers and assistants to recognize and value movement throughout the day.”