Seconds count in a water emergency

Daniel Baker

Summer and water go hand in hand in Wisconsin. Whether you plan to spend time at a community or backyard pool or on a lake, it’s important for parents, caregivers and children to know how to stay safe in and around water — and that seconds count in a water emergency.

Julie Baker of Franksville, Wis., learned that first-hand the day her son Daniel nearly drowned. Here is Daniel’s story: …Continue reading →

Tips for transitioning your child out of a booster seat and into a seat belt

Tips for transitioning your child out of a booster seat and into a seat beltWe take time when we purchase our children’s shoes and clothes to make sure they fit correctly. We would never dress them in adult clothing. But do we take the same amount of time checking to make sure that the life saving system in our car (the seat belt) fits them correctly? We should — because it could save your child’s life.

Making the decision to put your child into the seat belt is a huge decision and you want to make sure that it fits before you use it without a booster seat. Seat belts are designed to …Continue reading →

Winter coats and car seats

Well, winter has officially arrived, and with it come heavy coats and snowsuits. While they are a necessity to keep our kids warm and dry, they are not for kids travelling in car seats.

The truth is, it’s not safe to put thick coats, snowsuits or blankets under the harness straps of a car seat because the straps need to stay snug on the child. Coats and heavy snowsuits actually compress in a crash, which can create a lot of extra slack. This could cause your child to be ejected from the car seat in a crash.

…Continue reading →

Is your car seat OK to use after a crash?

Two recent serious car accidents in our community in the past several weeks – one involving a train and the other related to high speed – have affirmed that car seats do indeed save lives. Most likely, the car seats that saved those two children’s lives now will need to be replaced. But what if the crash was less severe? How can you tell if the car seat still is usable or needs to be replaced?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that child safety seats should be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash. Minor crashes are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
  • The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged.
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants.
  • The air bags (if present) did not deploy.
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat.

I recommend parents and caregivers check with their child seat manufacturer with regard to their child restraint. Many car seat manufacturers recommend child safety seats be replaced if they have been involved in a car crash. Look in the car seat owner’s manual for your manufacturer’s statement of their policy. And, it’s good to know that some insurance carriers may reimburse for the replacement of a new car seat if it was in a crash. Check with your insurance carrier handling the crash for more details.

If it turns out you need to buy a new car seat, please make sure it’s installed correctly. Go to or to find the nearest car seat check event or fitting station near you.

– Jane Howard, injury prevention event coordinator, Children’s Health Education Center