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Evolution of the car seat

I am working on a child seat safety event in my community and I put together this collage today. It is crazy to think of how far car seats have come! Image

 

You can check out the event details on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/641745615861737/

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Writing, writing, and more writing, this time for car seat safety

As if the fact that I am a full-time copywriter, basically a full-time newspaper reporter and then freelance for another newspaper wasn’t enough, my motherly instinct has driven me to organize a child seat safety event. In the last week, I have basically beasted it and gotten all local law enforcement, the local hospital and a ton of local businesses to participate. So that is encouraging. I have a couple of months to put it all together, but have been working non-stop to get it going and build momentum. 

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75% of car seats are installed wrong. That is terrifying. I even had Turner’s seat in wrong until I started researching it! I wanted to fix this and work to educate other parents. So i began working to plan an event on April 5. I am still working on a catchy name other than, Child Seat Safety Event (I welcome suggestions) and a catchy slogan. But I hope it becomes something that is not only helpful, but something that can be repeated often. This is the most recent type of marketing write up I have done for it. Feel free to tell me what you guys think. 

Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department, and Highlands Police, as well as Angel Medical Center have all signed on to be a part of a countywide Child Seat Safety Event in Macon County scheduled for April 5. 

Currently, the event is being planned to be held at the Fun Factory Parking lot from 11-2. The different departments have individuals who are certified in the installation of car seats. There will be a check point set up for parents to drive through to get their seats checked. 3 out 4 car seats are installed incorrectly. That means 75% of children are riding in cars and are not securely strapped in. We want to change that. 

 The task force working on organizing the event will handle all of the planning. We are looking toward the business community to help us in offering incentives for parents to come to the event. Some parents may have no idea their seats are installed incorrectly. I am that parent, which is why I wanted to organize this event. Because they may think their seats are installed correctly, we want to offer other incentives such as discounts to local businesses to help draw them in. 

A couple ways business and individuals can help:

 The big push we are doing with businesses is for the week following April 5, which would be April 6-12, we are asking that businesses who are interested in participating sign on to offer parents who come to the event a 10% discount. Parents who come will be given a business card that says something to the effect, “I got my seat checked.” The card will feature a list of businesses who agree, so parents will know for that week, they can get discounts at those locations. Not only does this give the parent an incentive, but it also encourages them to shop at local businesses. 

 Other businesses are looking to sponsor promotion materials for the event such as stickers. We want to have stickers made for the children that come. In addition to the stickers, depending on what we get from the community, we may make an entire goody bag for children. 

 I have had individuals and organizations contact me about donating car seats. Car seats cost about $60 each. If law enforcement finds that a child has outgrown a seat, or the seat is expired or on the recall list, by law, they are not allowed to let that parent leave using that car seat. So we will need car seats to offer to replace them. There are state programs that offer seats as well, but those seats are generally limited. Macon Program for Progress plans to but a car seat, the best kind possible, to do a raffle for parents. 

Other organizations or businesses could consider sponsoring hotdogs or waters to offer to parents as an added incentive. The fun factory will be open and are looking to either offer free play time for people that Saturday or a discount to their restaurants as well. 

 We want it to be a community effort. We would like for all volunteers for that day to have shirts so they are easily identified. The shirts will also feature names of all businesses who donated or have agreed to participate. 

We welcome any and all help. So if any of these ideas do not seem to fit what you are looking for, and you have your own idea, I would love to hear it. If you do not think you can offer something and just want to help promote the event with a flyer in your business, we would love that as well.  

I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have and set up a time to meet to discuss this further if you would like. Thank you so much for your interest.

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Battling a world that isn’t always child friendly

I never thought I would be “that” mom. The type that would want to boycott places that are not more child friendly, but the time has come. There are few things more frustrating than having to change a baby on a cramped sink top or even worse, the floor of a bathroom, all because some place you are at doesn’t have a proper changing table. It should be a law really. I shouldn’t have to balance my son on the edge of a sink to change his diaper at a business. There should be a changing table there.

 Also, I have yet to find somewhere that has the little boxes for liners for the changing table to actually have liners in it. That is about as frustrating as not having a table at all. There are never liners in any of them, ever. So I bring a blanket or grab some paper towels or wipe down the table with wipes first. Why is it so difficult to accommodate children?

 I am so appreciative when I find changing tables that have hooks on the walls or the ends. Anytime I do not have to put the diaper bag or my purse on the ground makes things so much easier. Trying to bend down to get supplies while watching a squirmy little boy who refuses to cooperate makes the entire process so much more difficult. Any thing that helps is amazing. The rooms at babies R’ us (while of course they are going to be accommodating) are magical. Plenty of room and proper materials needed to change or soothe a child. All bathrooms should be like that.

Another thing I cannot stand are restaurants that do not have car seat swings. No, I do not want to put my child on a chair or on a highchair flipped upside down. While working in a restaurant, I have seen both of those scenarios end badly. They are not steady or stable and can end disastrously. The swings for car seats are made to fit perfectly and have safety straps. I don’t see what it is so hard for restaurants to get them for parents. 

Not a single restaurant I have been to in my town has had the swing. Either they don’t have them, or they were not offered to us. That is just bad business. The swings should also be required.

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Grocery stores. Grocery store carts have a sign that says do not put your car seat in the front of the cart. Well, while some places have built in car seat shaped seats for children, there are never enough. And they are usually placed in the back of the cart selection to where I cannot get to them. And if by chance one is available, wipes to sanitize it are never there. Beyond frustrating!

I think if a business or place, such as a public park, is not accommodating to parents with children, they obviously do not want my business and that is a shame. While it may sound drastic, but like there are standards to make places accessible for handicapped citizens, there should be guidelines for children as well.