Community baby shower helps connect parents, caregivers with services

MORGANTOWN — The Shack Neighborhood House held its Community Baby Shower Monday at the Morgantown Public Library.
Moms, dads, foster parents and caregivers could connect with agencies with resources for their children and meet other parents in the community.
Laura Lipscomb, injury prevention specialist and child passenger safety technician with WVU Medicine Children’s, spoke to parents about seat safety for babies and the years beyond infancy. She said the key thing about keeping a baby safe in a car seat is making sure the seat is right and the harness is tight enough.
“It’s the biggest thing that we see. Make sure that chest clip’s in the right place,” she said.
Babies should be facing backwards until age 2. The new recommendation is for children face the rear until they can’t fit in their seat anymore. An infant seat will last about 12 months. Adding padding to a car seat is not advised to make it softer or more comfortable for baby. Lipscomb and her colleagues are available to help new parents if they are concerned about the safety of their seat.
“They can always call us. We’re there Monday through Friday and we’ll meet them by appointment. We’ll meet them at the front at the hospital canopy and check installation, check car seats and answer any questions that they have and make sure that their kid is riding safely in the car,” Lipscomb said.
The number to call is 304-598-4346.
Christine Wallace, program and outreach manager for the Shack Neighborhood House and Monongalia County Starting Points Family Resource Center, said the baby shower at the Morgantown Public Library has gone on for the last couple years.
“It’s a great downtown space where people are able to easily access this center and what we do is provide resources for the community,” Wallace said.
More than a dozen organizations gave out information about keeping children safe.
“We have Cardinal Pediatrics, Mon General, WVU. There’s a number of organizations that are here today and they are providing parents and new parents and pregnant moms with information ranging from car safety to baby gate safety,” she said.
Wallace said one of the greatest benefits of coming to the community baby shower is the possibility of parents meeting one another. The library holds other events such as “Read, Baby, Read.”
The Shack also has a host of programs for kids. Wallace said there’s playgroups for ages birth to 3 years. There’s a respite program on Fridays for parents who might just need a break. All programs at the Shack are free, except for summer camp and swimming lessons.
“We also have a Happy School. We have tutoring, before school and after school programs and you can find all of that on our website,” said Wallace.

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