Child safety center opens

May 28, 2008 4:55:54 PM PDT
Parents strive to keep kids safe, but choosing the latest gadgets, helmets and car seats can be confusing. Now a new center hopes to help.

Stephanie Szekely, 9, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania helped open a new safety center today at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The center has things like bike helmets, outlet covers and car seats. Stephanie's parents say it was a car seat that helped save her life two years ago

In 2005, as they were on their way to buy a Christmas tree, Les Szekely said the family got in a horrible accident. "On a country road in Bucks County, on a clear day someone blew through a stop sign and T-boned us at 50mph," he said. Stephanie and her three siblings were badly hurt and unconscious. Stephanie wasn't breathing

"We didn't think she was going to make it at first so it was every mother's, every parent's worst nightmare," her mother Jeanie said.

But they say thanks to a properly-fitting car seat and the quick response of paramedics, she's alive today. Now with help from Kohl's, C.H.O.P. is trying to help all parents keep their kids as safe as possible. The 'Kohl's Safety Center' not only has affordable safety products but also health educators to help parents get the right fit and the right tools

"You can get advice on what products you need based on the age of your children," said the hospital's trauma program manager Marla Vanore.

Accidents, such as on the road and at home, are the leading cause of death for kids. The Szekelys are thankful they did everything they could to not let Stephanie become a statistic. She celebrated her 9th birthday this weekend.

The center is open to all parents from 11:00 am to 5:00pm on weekdays. Many of the products are sold at-cost.