by Lisa Tome
Cara Herman recently got a parenting lesson that she won't soon forget.
Herman learned to install a car seat for her 15-month-old son.
"I personally learned how to install it. My husband (previously) installed it for me. We just kind of wanted reassurance that it was safe and he (her son) was secure," said Herman.
A free program held monthly in the county gives parents, like Herman, piece of mind.
Each month, on the second Thursday from 2-5 p.m., free safety seat checks are held.
The checks rotate between the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun, Singerly Fire Company, Elkton, and Paramedic 3 Station, Chesapeake City.
The technicians provided last week through the Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) program are Tracy Whitman and Alison Antonelli. Holly Trego, from Cecil County's Department of Emergency Services is also trained and helped out. Denise Hill, Jeff Urbanik, Josh Williams, Allie Austin, and Kay Trego are also DES staffers who are certified in infant only, rear facing, front facing, booster, and latch safety seat installation.
Holly Trego explained how the program works. Parents drive to one of the locations. They provide the information about their child. The seat is checked to see if it is properly installed. Trego said that most of the time, a correction needs to be made.
She also said that parents tend to convert their child from a rear facing seat to a front facing seat too soon. She said that children should be in a rear facing seat until about age two or about 40 pounds.
"There are so many different seats out there. We stress to parents that they need to read the owners manual," said Trego.
There are also other lessons, such as changing straps as the child grows and making sure there are no choking hazards attached to the seat.
"People are very appreciative and grateful," said Trego.