Car seat safety stickers helping first responders identify children and their needs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- We all know how important car safety seats are. Now,  a newly designed safety label will help police and paramedics identify children and their needs when on the scene of a crash.

"Rather than us guessing what their medical issues are or who to contact -- who can fill us in -- we know right off the bat who we can talk to and who we need to deal with right there," says Michigan State Police Trooper Martin Miller. "Whatever the name is, we have a bond right at the beginning. Rather than this stranger staring me in the face going 'Hey you,' we know their name, we can talk to them by their nickname, and if there are challenges, if there are issues, we instantly know what to address."

This is not a new idea. The old sticker was similar but didn't have a privacy shield as the new model does. Designers also removed the line for an address.

These stickers give immediate access to vital facts about a child passenger during an emergency situation, especially when the caregiver is hurt. The sticker tells first responders the child's name, nickname, age, date of birth, blood type, allergies, and their medication needs.

In addition, the newly designed stickers help police find next of kin in situations where parents are missing, hurt or deceased.

Trooper Miller and Jennifer Hoekstra, an injury prevention specialist at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, agree the stickers can save lives.

"We’re really excited about this new sticker that the Office of Community Health and the Office of Highway Safety and Planning," ," Hoekstra said," because we know it’s doing amazing things for our first responders."

Stickers are available free on the State of Michigan's website and at local police stations. You can also call Helen DeVos Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program at 616-391-7233.

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