About 35 pregnant moms and their guests were treated to refreshments, cake, safety education, giveaways, literature and a brief presentation on the following topics, which is great knowledge for every expecting mom:
- Healthy Baby: Dr. Joel Davidson from Locust Pediatric Care Group stressed the importance of primary care with regular visits and immunizations, while Leslee Fetterhoff detailed the 23 locations of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) , the importance of choosing a pediatrician before the baby is born, and benefits of the ACHP offices.
- Reading and early literacy: Reach Out & Read coordinator Karen Carbaugh explained why reading to a baby is important, how it develops a bond between baby and caregiver, prepares the child for school and much more. The program provides parents and caregivers of children ages 6 months to 5 years with age-appropriate books and suggestions on how to help their children develop a love of books and reading.
- Car seat safety: Kristen Hendricks, a certified child passenger safety technician, instructed the expectant moms on how to keep babies safe in the car with tips such as: babies should be rear-facing until a minimum of age 2; keep straps tight; use the chest clip, and no bulky clothes or blankets. Safe Kids Summit County will check your car seat at no charge to ensure that it is installed correctly. Call 330-543-8942 to make an appointment.
Also, Akron Children’s and Safe Kids Summit County offers a discount on car seats for income-eligible families, thanks to support from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The car seat is $25 for eligible families.
- Safe sleep: Courtney Hudson, Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Coalition Coordinator, covered the A-B-C’s of a sleeping baby (alone, back, crib) as well as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Babies sleep safest alone, on their back in a crib. She stressed the importance of dressing the baby not the baby’s bed – no crib bumpers, no blankets, no stuffed animals, etc. Babies should sleep in a sleep sack with a onesie underneath if needed. Lastly, Heather Trnka, injury prevention/Safe Kids Summit County coordinator, showed the proper way to assemble and disassemble a portable crib.
Special thanks to the social workers at Summa’s Women’s Health Center, Akron General’s Women’s Center and First Glance (a program for teen mothers) who helped us identify and invite the expectant mothers.