The National Child Passenger Safety Board has announced that Mandi Seethaler of the Alaska Injury Prevention Center was recognized as the 2012 Child Passenger Safety Technician of the Year. AIPC hosts the busiest fitting station in Alaska, and Seethaler has personally checked more than 300 child passenger safety seats in her two years as a certified technician.
“Child Passenger Safety is a major part of each day at the Alaska Injury Prevention Center. We offer a full-time fitting station for the public, and we’re the primary referral source for the local hospitals,” said Seethaler. “My colleagues at AIPC are all passionate about child passenger safety and provide a great example of community outreach.”
Child passenger safety is one of the nation’s most significant injury prevention initiatives, as motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death for young children. In 2009, there were 250 occupant fatalities among children younger than 4 years old. Of the 235 fatalities for which restraint was known, 31 percent were totally unrestrained.
Through her work at AIPC, Seethaler helps host the annual Alaska CPS Conference, where CPS technicians from all throughout the state travel hundreds of miles to attend. The conference presents an opportunity for Alaska CPS technicians to learn together and share stories of how technicians work through the challenges with small communities statewide to encourage families to safely secure their children.
Seethaler’s biggest piece advice for parents is to get their seat checked by a certified technician, “It’s easy, free and could save the life of your child.”
Tens of thousands of individuals have been certified as Child Passenger Safety Technicians and Technician Instructors since the standardized curriculum and certification program began in early 1998. CPS Technicians and Instructors put their knowledge to work teaching parents and caregivers to properly protect their children and to provide "hands-on" assistance in the proper use of child restraint systems and safety belts.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that child restraints saved 309 lives in 2009 among children younger than 5, and an additional 63 lives of such children could have been saved if all had used child safety seats. Additionally, an estimated 9,310 lives have been saved by child restraints from 1975 through 2009.
The National Child Passenger Safety Board awarded Seethaler with the second annual Child Passenger Safety Technician of the Year Award at the Lifesavers Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 13, 2012. Board President Amy Heinzen also awarded Seethaler with a check in the amount of five-hundred dollars on behalf of AAA National.
For more information, visit: CPS Instructor/Technician of the Year.