Riverton winners
Riverton winners

Riverton winners Sarah and Jacob Hutchins with baby RayLynn Jordan Hutchins. (Photo provided)

(Fremont County, Wyo.) – There is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. On February 14, we celebrated Valentine’s Day to honor love in our world for each other and our children; and what better way to do so than to keep them safe.

On Valentine’s Day, Safe Kid’s Fremont County Chapter, Riverton Memorial Hospital and Lander Regional Hospital started two families off on the road to safety. As part of the Gift of a Mother’s Love Program, sponsored by Safe Kids Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Health and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, the first baby born on or closest to February 14th at Riverton Memorial Hospital was presented with a brand new infant child safety seat and other safety devices to help ensure their safety.

In Riverton, the lucky winner was Sarah and Jacob Hutchins who are the proud parents of a baby girl named RayLynn Jordan Hutchins. The lucky winner was Dakota Coffee who delivered a 6 lb 12oz baby girl named Starlee Annette Wesaw. Both were born on Valentine’s Day.

Lander winner

Lander winner Dakota Coffee and her baby Starlee Annette Wesaw. (Photo provided)

Noel Cooper, Coordinator for Fremont County Safe Kids, said that in today’s traffic conditions, vehicle occupants of any age are in constant danger. There are more vehicles on the road that are traveling at higher speeds and more distractions for the driver, such as cell-phones, GPS navigation systems, and on-board music and DVD players just to name a few. These increased risks affect not just the driver but everyone in the car, especially our children.

Safe Kids Wyoming states that the primary goal this year is to remind all parents and other adults in Wyoming that children younger than 9-years-old need to be in a child safety seat or booster seat. The only exemptions are school buses and as follows: The child’s legs bend comfortably over the seat and feet sit flat on the floor; and the lap and shoulder belt fit properly across the collarbone, chest and hips of the child and does not pose danger to the neck, face or abdominal area in event of a car crash or sudden stop.

Cooper stated that as children grow, how they sit safely in a car, truck, van or SUV changes. The following four Steps for Kids can help:

- Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least one year of age and at least 20 pounds.

- Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age one and 20 pounds to approximately age four and forty pounds.

- Use booster seats in the back seat from about age four to at least age nine, and

- Use safety belts in the back seat at age nine and older. Remember, all children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat and to follow the instructions on the child car seats and compare with your vehicles owner’s manual.

Some parents or caregivers may regard car seats as a hassle to use or a pain to convince their children to use. But Cooper said that protecting the ones you love means getting past the temporary complaints and perceived hassles. “Use a child safety seat because you love them and you are responsible for their life. Furthermore wear a seatbelt to avoid your body from inflicting harm on your child in a crash” he said.

For more information about Child Passenger Safety call 856-2821 or visit safekidswyoming.org. Fremont County Safe Kids works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Fremont County Safe Kids is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury.

–Injury Prevention Resources