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Experts help keep kids safe

February 18, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN -

Jamie and Amanda Iseminger quickly slowed their Honda Accord outside the Community Rescue Service station on Eastern Boulevard Friday afternoon and waited for a moment, watching the three closed bay doors.

Just a moment later they pulled into the driveway and into the spacious garage. Moments before the door opened to let them enter, workers from the Washington County Health Department and Washington County Hospital cheered their arrival.

"We were just driving by and I saw the sign," Jamie Iseminger said, explaining to one of the officials that his wife Amanda is due to give birth to their first child, a girl, on Monday.

While the expecting parents have no shortage of things to occupy their mind with in advance of the big day, Iseminger ranked near the top making sure his future daughter's car seat is properly set up in the back of the two-door Accord.

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"It is probably one of the most important (things)," he said. "It could be one of the most dangerous places for a child to be."

The Isemingers were just one of 18 motorists who drove into Community Rescue Service Friday as part of a Safe Kids Washington County event designed to promote awareness of car seat inspections. Amanda Distefano, a prevention specialist with the Washington County Health Department who coordinated the event, said the vast majority of parents do not know how to properly install their safety seats or strap their young ones in correctly.

"Ninety-five percent of the seats here in Washington County are being misused, which means there's something wrong with them," Distefano said. "That's the goal; they leave safer than when they come here."

Safe Kids Washington County kicked off Child Passenger Safety Week Sunday. Parents can have their seats and seat procedures checked throughout the year, by scheduling an appointment with the health department or stopping by Community Rescue Service weekdays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., Distefano said, but this week the importance of doing so was stressed to create wider awareness.

Friday's event was held jointly by the health department, Community Rescue Service and Washington County Hospital.

For more information, contact Distefano at 240-313-3357 or visit its Web site at www.washhealth.org .

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