NEWS | Nov. 22, 2017

Local, base community partner to ensure child safety

By Senior Airman Thomas T. Charlton Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Members of the 628th Medical Group teamed up with individuals from the Safe Kids Charleston Area program and the larger Charleston community to conduct a car seat assessment for military families at the Hunt Housing Office here Nov. 20, 2017.

Safe Kids is a nonprofit organization helping families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.

"JBC is very connected to the local community. The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) has partnered with Safe Kids and the Medical University of South Carolina for the event in hopes of starting a longstanding relationship that will help our military families, subsequently keeping our children safe through valuable education and resources," said Maj. Sheontee Frank, 628th Medical Group Family Advocacy officer.

The Family Advocacy New Parent Support Program organized the event on base for families to ensure their children’s car seats were inspected and fastened properly.

“This is the first time we’ve come on base to do this but we’ve offered this service for about 20 years,” said Aynesly Birkner, MUSC pediatric injury prevention coordinator. “We have about 175 technicians in the tri-county area who are currently certified to provide these safety checks for whoever is willing to come.”

Each assessment takes 30 to 45 minutes per car seat per vehicle. The car seats are inspected and the parents are educated on how to properly install the car seat and how to fasten their child in the car seat itself. Certified technicians from the Charleston County Emergency Medical Services and Summerville, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant Fire Departments helped with the inspections of the car seats.

“Becoming a technician showed me just how much there is to know about car seats,” said Glenn McLendon, Summerville FD engineer. “There is a certain way your seat needs to be installed and you need to know if and how a car seat is compatible to your car. You’ll also learn things like how tightly your child should be strapped in or if the car seat has been in any accident. If it has, you need to get a new one.”

Another car seat assessment will be held on the Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station, Dec. 4, 2017, for those who were unable to attend previously.

“Coming out here was very beneficial for me,” said Tamara Preciado, a military spouse. “I’m a new mom and this service really helped me learn how to properly keep my child safe while I drive. I would recommend it for anyone who isn’t sure if they are using their car seats properly.”

For more information about Safe Kids or where to go for a car seat assessment, contact Aynsley Birkner at birknera@musc.edu.