Three-year-old Aaron Sanyasi left Akron Children’s Hospital sitting a little bit higher and whole lot safer in a new car seat.
With the help of translator Singh Rai, Aaron’s mom, Bali, left with all the information she needs about local traffic laws, how to install a car seat and how it will keep Aaron safe.
They were among the 22 Nepalese families living in Akron invited to the car seat clinic made possible by the Safe Mobility Project. Announced earlier this year, the Safe Mobility Project, supported by The Goodyear Foundation, aims to prevent mobility-related injuries for children, as uses Goodyear associates as volunteers.
A clinic for refugees from Karen language-speaking countries, such as Myanmar, was also planned.
“We consider these families to be at most risk for several reasons,” said Heather Trnka, injury prevention coordinator at Akron Children’s. “Often, the laws about car seats, seat belts and how many passengers can be in a car are different in Ohio from their native countries. Many families share cars, and cannot afford to buy a car seat. In addition to the language barrier, there are transportation challenges. Earlier today, a pregnant mother spent two and half hours on a bus – including three transfers – to get here to pick up a car seat so she will be able to take her baby home from the hospital.”
The Safe Mobility Project will enable the hospital to offer 450 car seats each year for 3 years to families in need. The hospital also plans to hold car seat clinics in the neighborhoods where many of Akron’s refugee families live.