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Blessings of babies and car seats in Tourmakeady


SAFETY FIRST Fr John Kenny blessing car seats (and babies) in Tourmakeady Church on Sunday last with, from left: Brendan, Laura and Méabh Prendergast; Niall, Nuala and RéaltÌn Donoghue; Tom, Aisling and Tommy Naughton, and David, Deirdre and Ruby Prendergast. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Ciara Galvin

A PARISH Priest has blessed babies and car seats in a novel exercise to promote child safety in cars.
Partry parish priest Fr John Kenny blessed car seats in Tourmakeady on Sunday to ask God to watch over the children using the car seats.
Fr Kenny said he had often seen families driving with small children not in car seats, and standing between seats or sitting on parents’ knees.  
“Many drivers seem unaware of the danger of driving without having all occupants in their cars wearing seat belts and in correct seats,” said Fr Kenny.
In order to solve this problem, the priest in the Diocese of Tuam decided to create the ‘Seat Them Safely’ campaign. Parents in his parish are being asked to bring the child seat to him before they go to collect the new born from the hospital and the priest will perform a ‘blessing of the car seats’ ceremony, as a way to ask God to look over the life of the child in the car seat.
Of course, the Diocese realise that parents also need to be shown proper usage in addition to receiving a blessing, so in conjunction with the campaign, the parents will be given information leaflets on car safety and are advised to attend RSA ‘check it fits’ days .
Noel Gibbons Road safety Officer said one in ten of the 262 children who died on the State’s roads between 1997 and 2012 were not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint.
“A lot of people are driving around thinking ‘I’m a good driver, I’m looking after my children’. Meanwhile, their precious cargo, the most important thing in their lives, is not adequately protected.”
“[Children are] so vulnerable because of their size, their weight and their age, that in a crash they are the most vulnerable of road users.”
According to the RSA, four out of five child car seats are incorrectly fitted and will not work as designed in a crash.
Some tips to ensure children’s safety in cars include, selecting a seat based on child’s weight and height, have the car seat fitted by the retailer, use Isofix points if your car is fitted with them, make sure the shoulder straps are adjusted properly and regularly check the car seat to make sure it is still secure.