EAST PENNSBORO, Pa. -- One of the happiest days for any new parent is the moment you strap your baby into their car seat for the first time to leave the hospital and head home. In fact, most hospitals won't let you leave unless you have a car seat and baby is secure.
What is not mandatory though, and what many first responders say should be, is emergency identification listed on your child's car seat.
"Children don’t have 'IDs'. Kids can’t talk. So if theres a crash and someone is seriously injured or there's a medical emergency, children need to be identified," said East Pennsboro Police Detective Denelle Owen.
Parents need to be identified as well, especially if they're unconscious or worse.
Detective Owen estimates 99% of the crashes she comes across involving children do not have car seats with proper identification. It's not against the law to not have emergency identification on a child seat, though first responders say it could mean the difference of life and death if they're able to properly identify everyone in an emergency situation.
"You think transporting your child is no big deal, but what if you have a diabetic emergency? Or what happens if something happens to you and you can’t talk?" Det. Owen asks. "We need to know and firefighters need to know who this child is, who it belongs to, what their best care is and all other pertinent information."
Owen says emergency IDs can be obtained through any registered car seat installation technician in Pennsylvania (find your local technician here) or some health care providers and hospitals. You can also make your own identification sticker. Make sure you include parents' names, child's name, address, emergency contact, and any medical conditions. Detective Owen also says the sticker needs to be in a location easily visible to first responders.