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As the holiday season kicks into high gear, more drivers hit the road with their families than any other time of the year. Whether we’re traveling to the in-laws for Christmas Eve or cruising around the suburbs and taking in the twinkling light displays, it’s important to stay safe. According to a 2013 report by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, December sees more car accidents than any other month across the state, accounting for 10 percent of all total collisions in 2012. That’s why, if your young children will be tagging along on your holiday shopping trips, it’s vital you do everything you can to keep them safe. Strap your small kids into car seats during every trip. It’s the single best way to protect your precious cargo. Indiana Law dictates that all children younger than one year and/or under 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing, infant-only car seat. The seat should support their entire head, neck, and back, and
move with the child to mitigate stress to the neck and spinal cord in the event of a crash.
For toddlers older than one and weighing over 20 pounds — typically around the time they’re learning to walk — you should use a forward- facing child safety seat. Be sure to check the specified limits of the seat set by the manufacturer. After that, a booster seat should be used for all children under 4 feet, 9 inches. The lap belt should sit low and tight across their hips, with the shoulder belt crossing the chest, not their neck or face. It’s also worth noting that, during the winter, a bulky coat in a car seat is potentially dangerous. Puffy coats worn under the harness can drastically reduce the seat’s effectiveness, leading to ejection during a crash. If your child is cold during the drive, lay the coat over them like a blanket.
With a well-fitting, solidly constructed car seat, you can ensure that your kids stay safe, no matter what happens.
As Steve Fleschner touched on in the cover story, the holidays may be a time of warmth and joy for many, but for others, it’s a season of personal struggle and loneliness. For these individuals, the holidays may highlight a lack of means, challenging mental health issues, or estrangement from loved ones. That’s why all of us at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin would like to offer our support to anyone who finds the Christmas season challenging for any reason. We’ve all come across painful obstacles in our lives at one time or another. With that in mind, we’d like to remind our readers about our new blessing box, located right by our offices at the corner of Walnut Street and Harding Avenue here in Terre Haute. For those of you who don’t know, a blessing box is a small container that acts as a donation spot for those looking to offer some help to their community. Donors simply open the box and put in whatever they can spare, as long as it’s new and unopened. Then anyone can come by and take anything they need from the box, hopefully feeling a little boost to get them through whatever difficulty they may be facing. Absolutely anyone is welcome to donate or take from the box, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We want to stress that while the box may sit near our offices, it only exists due to the efforts of our entire community. If you’re looking to donate, we truly appreciate it — every little bit helps. Right now, we’re looking for nonperishable food, baby food, diapers, toiletry items, feminine hygiene products, bottled water, hats, gloves, and scarves for the winter. If you can provide any of these items, please don’t hesitate to stop by. Your fellow community members will certainly thank you! Offering a Little Extra Support This Holiday Season The Blessing Box
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