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Safe Kids Baby Expo set for Saturday, April 21

Being responsible for a tiny new life fills many new and expectant parents with anxiety and questions.

Saturday's Safe Kids Baby Expo is designed to ease that anxiety and answer those questions.

Educational seminars, product information, fun and prizes await parents and grandparents who attend the second annual event at the Columbus Civic Center. More than 4,000 people attended the inaugural event last year.

Attendees at the Baby Expo will be invited to take part in diaper derbies, a daddy diapering contest, play the hokey pokey, baby bingo, ask the Doctor stations and tour inside the Baby Care Transport Vehicle. Kids can bring their teddy bears to be cared for in the Baby Ambulance. Guests can shop in the Baby Market Place and vote for their favorite Baby Shower and Birthday Cake exhibited by area bakeries. At noon, a fashion show showcases the latest baby and toddler outfits.

“Baby School” classes will be 10 minute sessions to learn what it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby. Door prizes will be given away after each Baby School class, to include items such as car seats, high chairs, gift baskets and treats for those four-legged newborns. Baby School educational seminars will be presented throughout the day. Topics include: labor and delivery, prenatal and newborn care and birth control after baby.

More than 50 exhibitors will provide giveaways and information on baby development and the latest baby products. Some of the exhibitors include photography studios, baby furniture merchants and nutrition experts. Local pediatricians will also be on hand for consultations on baby growth and tips on how to select a pediatrician. Lactation experts from the Columbus Regional Lactation Center and Boutique along with the WIC (Women, Infant & Children) program will be conducting informative and discreet one-on-one nursing and educational sessions.

Those who are among the first 200 people with paid admission will receive gift bags.

Safe Kids Columbus coordinator Christy Hubbard knows the stress new parents face. She and her husband Ben have a 2-year-old son, Carson, and are expecting their second son at the end of the month.

"After I had Carson, I started to see why it's easy for parents to make mistakes... I started to realize how important my job is," Christy says.

Because of her job, Christy is surrounding by alarming statistics such as unintentional injuries being the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. She also knows accidental injuries kill about 830,000 kids worldwide each year.

Rather than pushing these facts to the back of her mind, Christy guards herself with safety tips and prevention information -- knowledge she wants to share with everyone.

"People are trying to do the best for their child," Christy says.

Their desire to do the right thing is represented in the question Christy is asked most often: What's the best and safest car seat?

Strict federal guidelines require car seats sold today to have passed numerous safety inspections, so parents can choose whichever seat best fits their needs, Christy says.

Her safety concern with car seats is the installation. Christy says 95 percent of car seats that she tests have been installed improperly. That's why Safe Kids holds various free car seat inspections throughout the year.