09/29/08 — Partnership loans child special car seat

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Partnership loans child special car seat

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 29, 2008 1:32 PM

Harleigh Peedin poses in her new car seat.

Six-month-old Harleigh Peedin loves to travel.

But every time her parents put her into a car seat, it was so painful, she would burst into tears, mom Amanda said.

Harleigh was born with hip problems, requiring surgeries that have resulted in an ankle-to-chest cast. The cast she now wears will be removed, and she will get another one on Oct. 2 that must be worn for six weeks -- three months altogether.

It's been hard on everybody, Mrs. Peedin said.

"She's got to be held all the time," she said. "It's just not comfortable for her."

Initially, however, the family didn't know just how uncomfortable it would be.

"When we went to the hospital (in Chapel Hill) we had an infant car seat," Mrs. Peedin said. "After the surgery, when it was time for her to come home, they tried to put her in the infant car seat and it wouldn't work, we couldn't buckle it.

"So we had to go out and buy a convertible car seat just to bring her home."

She could sit in it, her mother explained, but it took some maneuvering.

"We would have to sit her kind of sideways and it wouldn't hardly buckle," she said.

Not only was it uncomfortable for Harleigh, but it wasn't safe.

"We had people telling us about people taking a saw and cutting the car seats," Mrs. Peedin recalled. "Me and my husband automatically knew that wouldn't work."

Her past affiliation with Partnership for Children of Wayne County led her to approach them for help.

"I didn't know if they had anything but was going to go and see if they had anything," she says now.

Initially, the only option mentioned was a front-facing car seat. But Harleigh was not old enough for that.

"We were told the only way she was allowed to travel was in that car seat or by ambulance," Mrs. Peedin said.

That is, until David Poythress of the Partnership stepped in.

Coordinator of Safe Kids Wayne County, he told the Peedins about a car seat for children with special needs. But it came with a $500 price tag.

"Not your everyday people can afford that," Mrs. Peedin says.

The Partnership found funding to buy the car seat, with the intent of using it as a loaner that will benefit other families in the future.

"One of the major functions of Safe Kids is to work with families concerning car seats and the proper use and installation," Poythress explained. "This was just a situation where parents needed assistance in getting a car seat that would be a proper car seat."

It's certainly made things easier for the Peedin family.

"Now that she's in this car seat, she's excited about riding," Mrs. Peedin says of her child.

"You would think that a baby that's 6 months old would not realize that a seat is more comfortable. But she likes that she can see out the window, and we have

appreciated it."