Today I am happy to share with you the story of Ellin Veney, a former nanny in Maryland, who I have known for over 13 years during my time in the Washington DC area as a nanny and as a member of the Association of DC Area Nannies (ADCAN). Ellin has been very passionate about car seat safety and shares with us how she took that passion and helps others learn more about child passenger safety. Make sure to check out the slide show as well.
My name is Ellin Veney. I was a nanny in Montgomery County, MD for about 10 years. During that time, I became very passionate about kids being as safe as possible in the car. At my last position, when my oldest charge was 5 (this was in 2001), her father didn’t have her in a booster in his SUV. Dad thought it was too much trouble to move the seat from one car to another. During this time, I was receiving AAA Magazine. One month, in a letter to the editor, a mom wrote something to the effect of, “I would rather move a car seat 37 times a day than bury my child once.” I cut it out and put it on the kitchen table. The next day Mom begrudgingly told me I could go buy my charge another booster seat. I don’t know how many years they used it, as I left the position shortly thereafter, but I know she’s a senior in high school now, so I’m grateful she was safe.
In 2008, I took the 5-day class sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to become a certified child passenger safety (CPS) technician. It is my wish that every nanny, daycare provider, and pediatric/neonatal nurse become certified. The number of newborns who leave the hospital with parents who really don’t know how to properly install or use their car seat is astounding. It has nothing to do with education or socioeconomic level. Car seats are complicated, and we CPS techs are here to help. A nanny friend of mine recently had me check her infant base, and despite driving kids around for decades, she had no idea that one should never use both the seat belt and lower anchors to install a base…only use one or the other.
The class is $75 and has recently been shortened from 5 days to 3 or 4. I truly think nanny employers should pay for their nannies to take the class, and pay them for those days. Why wouldn’t they want their children to be as safe as possible when on the road? You can find more information about it here: http://cert.safekids.
org/certification-course. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.