Safety Store is Riley’s ‘best kept secret’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — From watching out for your kids to taking care of your parents, the world of safety features can be overwhelming. That’s why Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is making it very easy. There’s a store there offering top safety tools at affordable prices. Several people even call it Riley’s best kept secret.

The Riley Safety Store is not-for-profit. It offers products at discount prices and provides free in-person education to go along with every single purchase.

“We want them to choose what’s right for them but not oversell them on anything,” said Cara Fast, Safety Store manager.

Fast has worked at the Safety Store at Riley Hospital for Children since its inception.

“Questions are free. Advice is free,” said Fast.

She and the staff can show people the latest recommended products to keep families safe and before customers leave they will know exactly how each product is used.

Alane Helmer is a new mom of a 9-month-old and has become a regular shopper of the safety store. “I think it’s helpful too because if I were to go to a local big box store, I’m just going to pick items willy-nilly and hope that they work,” said Helmer.

Situated in the Riley outpatient clinic, the safety store opened nearly 11 years ago. At the time, it was one of the only of its kind in the country.

New dads and moms can make this a one-stop-shop to baby-proof a home.

“I’m getting a sleep sack today because as my baby is getting older, we need a bigger sleep sack,” said Helmer.

Elizabeth Wettrick has been bringing her daughter Joey, a Riley kid, to the Safety Store since it opened. Joey has a neurological disorder and Elizabeth says this store was life changing for them.

“I couldn’t buy, and neither could a lot of the other families buy, this stuff at a retail store,” said Wettrick.

The store sells items at cost plus any incurred shipping charges.

“When I was seven, I went to get a bicycle helmet and some elbow pads too,” said 18-year-old Joey Wettrick.

Today, bike helmets go for $6.75.

The Centers for Disease Control says accidental death is the leading cause of death among children, which is why Fast won’t hesitate to show you everything for a “safety starter baby shower gift” to cabinet locks. There are even door and window alarms that keep intruders out and children in.

“It’s kind of a dual product that people don’t really think about,” said Cara.

It’s a life-saving gadget that only costs $5.75.

“They are so nice, and if you need something special, they’ll go and get it for you,” said Wettrick.

Since the safety store is run as not-for-profit, there’s no incentive to push sales on people. Everything has been vetted and tested by the experts.

“Come down and see us. We’ll be glad to help you with a car seat, with a bike helmet, anything we can help you with and provide them to you at low cost,” said Fast.

The store is open to anyone. Shoppers do not need to be patients at Riley to take advantage of the products and low prices.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  If those hours are inconvenient, the Safety Store also sells online. Just visit the Riley Safety Store website.