Gerber Memorial certified car seat techs at Family Expo on Saturday
Fremont- Parents wondering if their child’s car seat is installed correctly can get some expert help on Saturday May 18, during the 2019 Family Expo at Fremont High School, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Jill Pulaski and Kirsten Telfor of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will be at the expo to assist parents and caregivers with the correct way to strap in infants and young children, properly install car seats, and use everyday items to ensure car seats are safe and secure. Pulaski and Telfor received their national certification as child passenger safety technicians in November. They primarily assist parents who deliver babies at Gerber Memorial’s labor and delivery center, offering their service for those who request it.
“I think what we do can help make a difference for families,” Telfor said. “Babies are safe when they leave here and that’s good to know.”
Since February, Pulaski and Telfor have helped more than 24 families with their car seats. To help them with their demonstrations, they enlist the assistance of “Sammy the Baby,” a toy infant. “Sammy,” training materials and the certification training were funded by the 2018 Beards for Babies event, a local fundraiser by Spectrum Health Foundation Gerber Memorial.
“We volunteered to be part of the project and we really enjoy what we do,” Pulaski said. “I find it rewarding to be able to educate parents so they know their child is safe when they’re driving.”
Telfor said she and Pulaski practiced installing more than 100 car seats during the training for their certification, which led to some bruised knees. Altogether, they each spent 40 hours of classwork and education for the certification. Telfor and Pulaski work in Gerber Memorial’s medical records department.
Some of the lessons they learned during their class was sobering, Telfor said. “More than 90 percent of car seats aren’t installed correctly,” she said. “Parents aren’t anchoring the seats the right way. The chest clips are too low.”
And when a car seat tech isn’t around?
Pulaski said: “Read the car seat manual, read the vehicle manual, be familiar with all the parts of the car seat. And if you’ve lost the manual, Google it.”
In addition to Pulaski and Telfor, other Newaygo County resources to help parents properly install car seats include Newaygo County Great Start, Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department, the Fremont Police Department, the Newaygo Police Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information about Spectrum Health Foundation Gerber Memorial and how you can help the car seat program or others areas at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, please call 231.924.3681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.