Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Letter to the Editor

When I get mad, I write. And after the latest debacle regarding the installation of my son's new car seat, I wrote this letter to the editor of my local newspaper. I hope they print it.

Dear Editor~
I am a 28 year old Mommy to a 7 ½ month old son. I would say that I am a pretty informed parent. I do my research on everything from toys to food, vaccines to car seats. I read my instruction manuals, and try to do my best in whatever I do involving my new baby. This includes the extensive amount of effort I put into purchasing a safe and secure car seat for my son. You see, he isn’t what you’d call a petite baby. He weighs in at about 22 pounds, so he’s a big boy! Just this weekend, we got him a new, larger Convertible Car Seat. Since he is still under a year old, the seat still has to be rear-facing for his safety. I spent countless hours attempting to install the seat correctly, with correct security and making sure it was level to the ground to give the proper recline for a baby his age. Needless to say, as I am sure most other parents, I had some problems. So, I did what I was always told to do, I called my local police department (and a few others) to see how I go about getting a police officer/fireman to help me. I tried to be the most responsible parent possible. I tried to do the right thing. And no one could help me. I was told “We don’t do that.” Now, yes, I am going to call-out a few departments here. I work in Munster, so I called them. This dispatch woman told me that the officer that used to be certified in car seat installation was no longer certified; therefore they do not do it anymore. I asked her where else I could go, and she did not have any help for me. She did not offer any further assistance. Then I called the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. At least, the woman there told me to call my local police department and that there should be someone there that does it. Okay. So then, I called Chesterton, and got the run-around there as well. I was told that there was no one there that was certified, but that the officers could help, but that they wouldn’t know anymore about the car seat than I do. After an afternoon of disappointing phone calls, I decided to call a Munster Police Officer that I knew. He had a lot of answers for me since he was the officer who USED to be certified, but his certification ran out a few months back. He was able to give me some tips and pointers over the phone, so it was a bit helpful. But I still feel I deserved more. Did I do something wrong? Is this whole thing a hoax? I thought the police officers were here to help! The sad thing, is I got more help from my neighbor’s (who have 3 kids of their own) than I did from 3 separate police departments combined. I guess it took a friend of mine who has been in a car accident with children in the car to be able to explain exactly why things are the way they are, and know exactly how a car seat should be installed. I think that ALL police stations should have a Certified Car Seat Inspector available to all parents in their community. I think that it is simply a poor job on these police stations parts to not have the services accessible to parents that seek it. I think it is irresponsible on the police stations parts to not have answers for parents that are just trying to be the best parents possible, by doing the right thing and doing the best they can. I am not a bad parent for seeking help. I think it is something I deserve. I think it is something ALL parents deserve, and it is a shame that I cannot hold faith in those who are supposed to be here to protect and serve me, and countless other parents and children in my community. These police stations need to rethink how they do things, and change it up a bit. Not only to make them look good, but truthfully, I believe it is their job and their duty to offer such services to us all.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you are absolutely correct in expecting this from your local police dept. I hope they do print your letter. I don't know much about IN...but in Illinois you can also call the health dept and they help in this area also. Maybe you can call them in IN too??