TORRINGTON – What started out as the brainchild of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary President Kathy Stricker has culminated in a $300 check to Torrington Police Department’s car seat program.
VFW President Michael Alverson told the Telegram, VFW Post No. 2918 hosted a yard sale last month to benefit the Torrington Police Department’s car seat program. Alverson said they designated $300 to the program, while the remainder of the money raised went to help local veterans and to assist in maintaining the VFW building.
“The VFW is here to help the vets and the community,” Alverson said.
Dispatch supervisor Bailye Geller, also the local car seat program supervisor and a child passenger safety (CPS) technician, received the check Friday afternoon with Torrington Police Chief Matt Johnson. Johnson and Geller said the funds would be used for software and to purchase and keep emergency car seats available.
“Bailye does fit checks for folks,” Johnson explained. “Car seats are not always easy and intuitive, so Miss Bailye here offers these checks.”
Geller told the Telegram she checks several items when inspecting car seats.
“I verify the seat is installed correctly, and it’s an appropriate seat,” she said. “We then make sure the child is fitted properly, so the kiddos are traveling safely.”
Geller pointed out this donation comes at a perfect time as National Child Passenger Safety Week begins next week, running Sept. 19-25.
The Manufacturers Alliance for Child Passenger Safety created a checklist presented by the National Child Passenger Safety Certification program. The checklist can be found by visiting cert.safekids.org/get-car-seat-checked and is included below.
Before the Car Seat Checkup
- Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS technician install the car seat. They're trained to teach you.
- Know your child's current weight and height.
- Using the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner’s manual, try to install the car seat into your vehicle prior to your appointment
- Tip! Check the index of your vehicle owner’s manual for “child safety seats.”
- Be sure to bring the car seat instruction manual AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to your appointment.
- If possible, bring your child with you as well as another caregiver to help while you are learning.
- Be prepared to learn. The CPS Technician is trained to educate you to install and use your car seat properly in your vehicle
During the Car Seat Checkup
- Ask to see proof of your technician’s current certification.
- This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on your car seat and vehicle. The technician will take all the time you need until you feel comfortable that your car seat is used and installed correctly.
- During the checkup, a CPS Technician will:
- Fill out a car seat check form to document the process (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, etc.). The form may be electronic or on paper.
- Review car seat selection appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height as well as review factors affecting proper use.
- Review the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that both are being followed correctly.
- Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used.
- Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.
- Guide your installation of the car seat. You are encouraged to ask to learn how to install the car seat in different seating positions with different installation techniques.
- Discuss the next steps for your child, such as when to move to the next type of car seat.
- Discuss your state laws and best practice recommendations for occupant safety.
- Discuss the benefits of everyone riding properly restrained, including all adults.
- Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
- Answer any questions you may have, so ask away.
After the Car Seat Checkup
A car seat checkup is considered a success if you can answer yes to the following questions:
- Did you perform the installation?
- Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?
- Were your questions answered? If not, were you given direction as to who you should contact, or will the CPS Technician follow up with you?
To schedule an appointment with Geller or to learn more about the program, please call the Torrington Police Department at (307) 532-7001.