By Rachele Story

Have you ever been so passonate about something you want to chase that dream and won’t stop until you accomplish it? This is exactly what Deborah Story did! In a world where cars are everything, car seat safety is a number one priority now. Before now, in Washington County we did not have anyone officially certified to check and make sure your child will always be safe when entering the car with you. Well now we do, Deborah Story is a registered respiratory therapist at Weiser Memorial Hospital; a wife, mother of three, and works very hard at her job.

               When asked why she decided to do this she said, “I’ve seen many kids buckled correctly in seats that were properly installed that had minor injuries as well as kids not buckled or installed correctly that have had major injures… This has been a passion of mine for about 7 years, when I learned what I thought I knew about car seat use was not correct. After much research I discovered that car seat safety is way more than putting your child in a seat and buckling them in and off you go! Did your child should rear face in a car seat until age two? Did you know they can rear face until age 3 or 4 safely depending on the car seat you use? Did you know that just because their legs touch the seat in front of them does not mean they cannot rear face any longer? Like I said it has been a passion for 7 years!”

               Statistics show “in the United States, 675 children 12 years old and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and nearly 116,000 were injured in 2017. Of the children 12 years old and younger who died in a crash in 2017 (for which restraint use was known), 35% were not buckled up. Of the children who died in a crash: In 2017, 49% of 8-12 year olds were not buckled up, compared to 36% of 4-7 year olds and 22% of children less than 4 years old (with known restraint use). 45% black and 46% Hispanic children were not buckled up, compared to 26% of white children (2009-2010; aged 12 and under). From 2001 to 2010, approximately 1 in 5 child passenger (<15 years old) deaths in the U.S. involved alcohol impaired driving (BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl); 65% of the time, it was the child’s own driver that had been drinking. Most child passengers (<15 years old) of drunk drivers (61%) were not buckled up in the fatal crash. Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were also unrestrained. Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. An estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats (59% of car seats and 20% of booster seats) are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71-82% for children, when compared with seat belt use alone. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4-8, when compared with seat belt use alone. For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half.” (https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html)

               You can now get your car seat checked Weiser Memorial Hospital (WMH) by Deborah by appointment. WMH is also a registered inspection sight. This service is free to anyone who wants is done! Deborah cannot wait to see those wanting peace of mind that their child is safely restrained.