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The afternoon was centered around the serious subject of properly installing child car seats, but the sixth annual Red CARpet Safety Awareness event presented by children’s retailer Step2 turned out to be a fun-filled Saturday playdate attended by an assortment of Hollywood industry patents.
Famous faces including Jaime Pressly, Shiri Appleby, Robin Tunney, Kathleen Robertson and Gilles Marini brought their offspring to the festivities held outside The Commissary at Sony Pictures Studio, timed to September’s designation as Child Safety Month. Across the studio lawn, scores of kid- and parenting-centric companies, sprinkled amid activity stations and expert seminars, showed off an assortment of innovative products aimed at improving safety conditions for children, with an emphasis ensuring that car seats aren’t improperly installed.
It’s a topic that’s been a key concern of actress, model and television host Ali Landry, who founded the event alongside Saarah Samadani after hearing a tragic story of a 3-year-old girl whose death might have been prevented if her car seat had been more effectively in use. “I felt like that could have happened to me,” said Landry, whose own daughter Estella, the eldest of her three children with filmmaker Alejandro Gómez Monteverde, was the same age.
“I found out my car seat was installed improperly — and I’m pretty on top of things,” Landry explained. “I thought, ‘If mine is, then how many other people?’ I then went on to do a car seat check at my daughter’s preschool. We checked 40 seats, and only two of the seats were installed properly.”
Determined to use her star power to advocate for car seat education, Landry’s efforts resulted in the kickoff event six years ago. “It was really small, it was great, and it was really focused on the car seat safety,” she said. “Now it’s grown to where we have the celebs and the VIPs, the people that really can push the message out, and then we opened it up to the public for the rest of the day and we do the car seat checks and the installs.”
“We’ve supported this event for the past few years,” said Appleby, who brought her children with restaurateur Jon Shook (Animal, Jon & Vinny’s) to check out the activities. “Obviously, car seat safety is incredibly important as a mother, and it’s also a great opportunity just to see what’s out in the market in the kid world. We’re huge fans of Step2. They have a really great price point, and because we move so often for work, we have to get temporary toys that we end up donating when we’re done, so we always get Step2 stuff.”
Actress Ryan Bathe, the wife of recent Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, said she was ready to spread the knowledge she attained. “I did not know, even as a parent, just how hard it is to put in a car seat correctly, because everybody thinks they do it right,” she said. “I have a lot of friends who went to really fancy schools and it is literally a point of pride for them, like, ‘I did it right. I did it right.’ And I’m like, ’98 percent of people do it wrong. Just get it checked.'”
“Every year I get emotional,” Landry admitted, thrilled that this year’s event had sold out. “There was no motive here but just to really start a conversation, and here we are and all these people are learning about car seat safety. It’s just, it’s been a joy to be a part of this.”
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