WAYB Celebrates Child Passenger Safety Month with Safe in the Seat
Ride Along on our Interview with Michelle Pratt, CPST
There are a lot of reasons to love September, from the kids returning to school to the return of pumpkin spice lattes. But here at WAYB, we love September because it’s Child Passenger Safety Month, an important opportunity to make critical car seat safety tips accessible and interesting for parents everywhere. And this year, we’re excited to be celebrating the occasion with Michelle Pratt, CPST, of SafeintheSeat.com with two blog posts featuring her fabulous wisdom.
We’re huge fans of Michelle and the work she does to demystify car seat shopping with straightforward reviews and real-world advice. In part 1 of our interview with Michelle, find out what inspired her to start SafeintheSeat.com and her favorite aspects of the WAYB Pico.
WAYB: We’re passionate about supporting families on-the-go, and we know you are, too. What sparked the passion for you?
Michelle: If you told me car seats would have been part of my world six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son and began researching baby gear for him that I realized how difficult it is to find good information and support around car seats. I talked to many of my friends and they were feeling as lost as I was.
WAYB: So, is that when you decided to get certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician?
Michelle: (laughs) Yes, but I wasn’t thinking of it as a full-blown strategy for a business! I just didn’t want another parent to leave the hospital feeling as confused as I did. I thought I’d do some one-on-one consults with families in the area to help my community.
Looking back though, I was the only layperson in my class. Everyone else was a firefighter, police officer, or someone who worked in a hospital. It really underscored how centralized some of this information is. That’s why I started SafeintheSeat.com.
WAYB: We love that you took it upon yourself to do the research, get certified, and become a credible resource for parents looking for answers. What’s your top piece of advice for parents in the market for a car seat?
Michelle: I always say, “The best car seat is the one that fits your child, your budget, your vehicle, and your lifestyle.” That means there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Price point is not the only factor; you need to put the cost into context. Think about logistics. Think about your sanity.
WAYB: Well said. For parents who are in the midst of their research, what would be some real-life examples of those considerations?
Michelle: Let’s use the Pico as an example. I love its portability, and that it’s lightweight and super narrow to fit some of those impossible three across situations. I also love that it’s one of the few options that works in the airplane or in the car. And look, when I say think about logistics, let’s be real: go down that airplane aisle once or twice with a big bulky car seat and you might regret it. And don’t get me started on rental car seats. There’s no way to know if you’ll receive a seat that’s clean or hasn’t been in a crash.
You need to have solutions for how you’re going to keep your kids safe and keep your sanity along the way. That’s where I think the Pico fills a gap that no other car seat does. It’s a one-stop solution for families that are always on the go, especially those that live in an urban area and are frequently in and out of rideshares or taxis, families that have multiple caretakers, or those that will travel by plane. Not that it can’t be used every day.
WAYB: We’re glad you brought that up because a common misconception is that the Pico is only for travel.
Michelle: I think that’s because of the ease of use. People think that because it’s lightweight, easy to hold, fold, and install you’re supposed to put it back in the closet when you return from your trip. But hey, you could just reinstall it in the car when you get home!
WAYB: Or just leave it installed in the car if you drove home from the airport! Unless you want to make it available for another caretaker…
Michelle: Exactly. While we’re on the topic of storage though, I have to say I love that it stores so small. If you don’t want to have a big bulky car seat in your garage or closet, the Pico is very easy to store and pull out as needed, especially for grandparents, babysitters, or other caretakers.
Coming Up in Part 2: Michelle tackles common misconceptions about car seat safety and shares her best advice for the safety practices to implement now. Stay tuned!