Trinity, Ron’s team up for safety check

For parents, one part of their lives that might cause stress is wondering if their car seat is safe for their child.

Fortunately for people in that situation, a monthly event in Fort Dodge aims to help make sure everything about the car seats is up to date and working properly.

The child car seat checkup, a partnership between Trinity Regional Medical Center and Ron’s Lube & Oil, 2524 First Ave. S., is held on the last Tuesday of every month.

John Copper, a certified car seat technician who also works in Trinity’s emergency room and the EMS department, said the car seat checkup is held from March through November every year.

“We’ve been doing these for about the last 10 years,” Copper said. “The bottom line is keeping kids safe and keeping them alive.”

Copper said technicians look for various issues that might be present with a car seat during the free event.

“We look at age and size, and whether the child is appropriate for the car seat or the car seat is right for the child,” he said. “After that we look at how the seat fits in the car and if the car and seat even match.”

Other factors that are looked at include if the seat is strapped into the car properly and if it’s tight enough for a child to be inside it.

Copper said, on average, technicians look at six cars during every checkup event.

At this past Tuesday’s car seat checkup, Brian and Ana Sparks, of Fort Dodge, stopped by to have their car seat looked at. The couple is expecting their first child on July 14.

“Our friend gave us the car seat and we wanted to make sure that it was safe for our baby,” Ana Sparks said.

After learning about the car seat checkup, Brian Sparks said he and his wife decided to stop by.

“We didn’t even know this existed,” he said. “And since this is the last Tuesday before the baby’s due, we realized we needed to get this done now.”

Ana Sparks said she learned a lot from the checkup.

“This has been really helpful,” she said. “I don’t know what I’d do if we got to the hospital and found out our seat was expired.”

She added that she recommends every parent or expecting parent take advantage of the checkups.

“We’re just learning so much, like how to put the car seat in,” Ana Sparks said. “We’re learning things we wouldn’t have known by ourselves.”