When out on the open road, seat belts may just save your life in the event of an accident. But, this may not be the case for younger riders. Car seats have been around for decades to further protect children and give parents peace of mind while focusing on the road. However, your child’s car seat may not be as safe as you think it is.
These seats often have flaws that the average consumer might not be able to recognize, but Londonderry’s fire and police departments are currently collaborating to bring residents their variation of the Child Passenger Safety Program (CPSP), an effort that seeks to keep children safe and parents informed on child safety in the car.
Led by School Resource Officer Brad Warriner and On-Call Firefighter Vincent Curro, the CPSP encompasses multiple features. For starters, a hotline has been established to answer any questions residents may have about the state of their car seat. However, if residents are still unsure about the state of their seats or how to install them, they may also use the hotline to schedule an appointment with a certified technician who will inspect the seat and assist in its installation. The service is available to anyone in the state, not just residents of Londonderry. According to Curro, the idea for the program began when he attended a similar demonstration on car seat safety with his son in Manchester back in 1999. Upon completing classes in 2000 to become a Child Passenger Safety technician, Curro started coordinating the program with Warriner. The two have “become best friends.”
Curro seemed very proud of the successes of the program in its almost two decades of activity. Promoted as one the most successful programs in New Hampshire and “one of the only programs” across the country that does a joint effort between firefighters and police officers, the program has also inspected close to 2,500 seats since it began, as well as donated 243. Curro noted that out of all the seats that they have inspected, 90 percent required some form of correction.
But, Curro’s greatest pride comes from helping families. He stated, “I want to make other kids safe.” He was happy to note that his efforts have made serious progress over the years. In one instance, a car seat adjustment helped a woman’s child survive a car crash. He also worked with Senator Maggie Hassan to revise seat belt laws two years ago.
Curro firmly believes that his efforts have helped the people of New Hampshire greatly, by stating that “The child always leaves safer than when they arrived.”
For more information on the program, please visit londonderrynh.org visit the “Town News” section on the front page, and click on the “Londonderry Child Passenger Safety Program” link. You can also reach the hotline at (603) 432-1104 x 4623.