MIAMI COUNTY — When traveling with children, safety is a major concern, so the majority of parents make sure to strap, latch and buckle their young ones into a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
When you’re a parent who relies on public transportation to get around, this can be an almost-Herculean task requiring the juggling of a squirming infant or antsy toddler, and an unwieldy child safety seat.
Thankfully, three local organizations are doing their part to make things a bit easier for parents who travel via public transit.
Through a donation from Evenflo Company Inc. based in Piqua, the Miami County Public Transit system has received four child safety seats. The seats are transitional seats that can be modified to suit children from newborns to toddlers, and will be installed, two per vehicle, in two of the county’s transit vans.
“This has been a gap in services for some time,” said Ann Hoover, executive director of Piqua Compassion Network, which partnered with Evenflo and transit administrators to make the project possible. “It’s just been such a problem that the mainstream (public) hasn’t been aware of.”
Hoover said the folks at PCN became aware of the need for child safety seats in public transportation vehicles through their dealings with a client, a single mother who would have to lug car seats around daily.
“She would have to load the seats and babies, offload them, store the seats at work, then after work, go through the whole process again,” Hoover said, noting that more than 40 percent of the people who came to PCN for assistance last month — many of them parents — did not own a vehicle.
Regan Snider, director of Miami County Public Transit, said, “We realize that transporting and storing car seats while at destinations can be a hardship and a barrier for many parents when riding public transit.”
Snider added that she was pleased that Evenflo reached out to the make the donation and that Piqua Compassion Network was involved as well.
“This is such a great example of business, county services and agencies working together to fill gaps in service,” Hoover said.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341