Free ‘Child Safety Seat’ Inspection and Installation by Fitzgerald Auto Mall

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March 27, 2013

By Special Correspondent & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

March 27, 2013

By Special Correspondent & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

“The number one killer of children in the US, ages 3 to 14, is motor vehicle crashes, and 73 percent of child safety seats are incorrectly installed,” says Jack Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Auto Mall. His ‘Child Safety Seats Program,’ which inspected 42,000 seats since 1999, continues to offer free installation and inspection, on 3rd Thursday of every month.

ROCKVILLE, MD.— Every day, parents and child caregivers get into their cars, buckle-up their children, crank the engines, and drive away, taking it for granted, that everything is okay.

But, the sad truth is, car crashes in America is the number one killer of children, between ages 3 and 14. And, Jack Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, tells us that 73 percent of child safety seats are installed incorrectly, causing children’s deaths that could have been avoided.

Collaborative Effort to Promoting Child Passenger safety: Pondering insights on educating Montgomery County immigrant communities. (Left to Right) Rob Smith, Vice President, Fitzgerald Auto Mall; Jack Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Auto; Patricia Shao, President & CEO, dragonbridge Inc. a Metro Washington Management Consultancy firm

Car seats come with instruction manuals, as well as, toll free numbers to reach the manufacturer for instructions. Anyone, who reads and follows the instructions, should be able to safely use the seat. “But, many car owners never read car-owner manuals,” says Jack Fitzgerald.

Children, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), should ride rear-facing as long as possible, usually up to 24 months. Seats labeled as only for ‘infants only’ are ideal for children weighing up to 22 pounds, and convertible rear-facing seats can be used for children weighing 30 to 45 pounds.

NHTSA suggests, the longer a child rides rear-facing, the safer they are.

Rob Smith, Vice President of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, and an instructor in “Child Passenger Safety,” which is an injury prevention program run by the NHTSA, says: “All children should be in the back seat.”

Committed to child safety, Fitzgerald started the Fitzgerald Child Seat Inspection Program in 1999, after knowing about the dangers of incorrectly installed child safety seats. The Program inspects and installs child safety seats on every 3rd Thursday of every month. For details, or, to make an appointment visit (http://www.fitzmall.com/). Also, you can reach the firm by calling 301-548-4847 or 1-855-730-6797.

The Program does educate parents and child caregivers about their child safety seat. They will leave with a properly installed car seat, and will know how to properly secure a child in it.

Jack Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Auto Mall started the Fitzgerald Child Seat Inspection Program in 1999, which, by the end of 2012 installed and inspected more than 42,000 child safety seats.

In an interview with MYDOSTI.COM, Fitzgerald said: “Since 1999 more than 100 Fitzgerald Auto Mall employees earned Child Passenger Safety Technician certification, and installed and inspected more than 42,000 child safety seats.”

Put in another way, Fitzgerald Child Safety Seat Inspection Program made it safer for 42,000 child passengers, preventing injuries, and saving an increasing number of lives by properly installing child safety seats.

Smith says: “Parents are willing to do the right thing; the challenge is the directions are confusing. No one wants to open the owner’s manual of their cars, let alone, the manual of the owner of a child safety seat. What we need to do is find ways to make it easy for the parent to know the best way and safe way to install the seat."

As a result of Metro Washington attracting immigrant communities, Montgomery County, being a part of Metro Washington, has its swollen share of immigrant communities. Fitzgerald claims that 20 percent of Fitzgerald Auto Mall’s employees speak, apart from English, another language, totaling 45 languages. Some important facts about child safety seats have been translated into these languages, to educate parents and caregivers.

The Hispanic and Asian Americans, in Montgomery County, are the largest immigrant communities, as in other counties of Metro Washington. .

When asked by MYDOSTI.COM: “Do South Asian Americans take interest in getting their child safety seats inspected?” Fitzgerald replied, “They hardly come here.” 

Remember, Child Safety Seats are inspected and installed freely, on 3rd Thursday of every month, at the Fitzgerald Auto Mall, on 5501 Nicholson Lane, in Rockville, MD.

Protecting children — the most valuable national resource — requires the collaborative effort of many dedicated people.

Parents and child caregivers, be a part of that collaborate effort, and get educated about injury prevention for child passengers.  Help protect children!


Community Special by MYDOSTI.COM

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