Did you know this week is Child Passenger Safety Week? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.” If you’re interested in learning more to make sure that your children are in the proper car seat, visit safercar.gov now.
There are certified professionals who are trained on how to check car seat installations to confirm that your child is in the right seat and that the seat is properly installed. I interviewed a local Child Passenger Safety Technician, Patricia Leidy, about what drew her to the field.
What made you interested in becoming a CPST? In November 2012, my middle daughter and I were involved in a side impact collision. I suffered major injuries (and have recovered). My daughter did not have a scratch on her. Before I was a CPST, I knew the very basics regarding car seats. After the accident, I start to research – I wanted to make sure I could continue to keep my kids safe in the car. It was a very enlightening process. I learned all about Safe Kids (the certifying body for CPSTs), CPSTs themselves, how common car seat errors are (9 out of 10) and my own misuse. It was then that I decided to pursue certification.
What is your favorite part about being a CPST? Playing with car seats! When a new car seat enters the market, I feel like a kid at Christmas when I get to my put my hands on it.
Who has inspired you? I am so very lucky that my inspiration comes from many different people. First and foremost, my husband as he is the one who pushed and encourage to certify. My family and friends for their ears, cars and children for practice. Car Seats for the Littles, as it was their resources that provided most of my enlightenment mentioned above. Finally, my real life CPST resources – my instructor, Dr. Willis of the Florida Occupant Protection Center for her vast knowledge and allowing me to sit in her class, and Danielle and Tina at Safe Kids of Northeast Florida for expanding my knowledge and numerous volunteer opportunities (and the use of Tina’s guest room!).
What is your favorite part about Tallahassee? I grew up here and I love the rolling hills and the great oaks.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? Free time? With three kids, I am not sure of what you speak! Just kidding. I like to study my LATCH manual (CPST bible). I also help run a babywearing buy, sell, trade.
What is one place you’d like to visit? Poland. My dad was a first generation American and the food and culture just fascinates me!
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend? Load up the family in the van, pick a direction and just roam. We have so much beautiful land to explore.
Do you have any hidden talents? Most people do not realize I was a serious musician in my “before kids” life. Maybe one day, I’ll reclaim that.
If you’d like to reach out to Patricia to have your car seat and installation checked, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.