July 8, 2003 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle
On June 21st OBCC hosted a community health fair. I was there as part of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle, with information about child passenger safety and water safety. Many people stopped by my table and told me about their safety concerns. A little boy told me that “kids running in the street” wasn’t safe. Two girls pointed to the south as they said that “right over there in those green apartments, people drive too fast.” Adults were concerned about kids being near busy streets and riding bikes without helmets. Dr. Ben Danielson and other Odessa Brown staff were giving children bike helmets at the health fair, and there were many fun games and activities for everyone to participate in. Sally Suze, the safety clown, reminded everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes, and at the Injury Free booth, I talked to families about the importance of young children riding in car seats until they were four years old or 40 pounds. Pediatricians recommend that kids ride in a booster seat until they reach eight years old or 80 pounds. Near the end of the fair, a woman with an outgoing little girl stopped by to pick up information about water safety. When I asked her if her daughter rode in a booster seat, the woman replied that she had one, but her daughter refused to ride in it. I gave her information about how it’s the law that children between the ages of 4-6 ride in booster seats, how it protects children in wrecks, and some ideas on how I make riding in a booster seat fun for my own five year old son. As a parent, you have to choose your battles. I don’t know of many moms who would let their preschooler make up the grocery list every week, because in my household at least, I know that I’d end up with cabinets full of snacks and soda pop. For that same reason, whether to ride in a booster seat or not should not be the child’s decision but the parent’s. As a parent, you have the power to make decisions to protect your child’s health and your children look up to you as an example. Making your child ride buckled up in the right size car or booster seat could be one of the most important battles you win with your child. For kids who’ve always seen their friends and family members buckle up, it won’t even be a battle, but will be what they see as normal. If you would like more information about car or booster seats, contact the Washington Safety Restraint Coalition at 1-800-BUCK-L-UP (1-800-282-5587), or contact me. I welcome any questions or feedback that you have about preventing injuries among children.
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle
633 Yesler Way #332
Seattle, WA 98104