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Checking how car seats are secured is vital and can lower the risk of serious injuries and death, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Published Feb 28th, 2024

By Casandra Andrews

During a recent car seat safety check held on Valentine’s Day, instructors from Children’s & Women’s Hospital and colleagues from across the state inspected, removed, and then professionally installed dozens of seats for local parents.

The free community outreach was held immediately following a training course at the hospital, led by parent educator Courtney Thomson, B.S.N.-NIC, and members of USA Health’s nationally certified car seat tech team. After the latest training, USA Health now has 33 employees who are certified to install car seats. See photos.

USA Health makes car seat safety a priority because research shows having an infant, toddler or booster seat correctly installed can lower the risk of serious injuries and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is also important to make sure children are properly buckled into their safety seats, notes the CDC, and that seat belts are appropriate for a child’s age and size.

Why is that? Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by up to 82% for children, when compared with seat belt use alone, research shows.

“Properly installed car seats can save lives,” said Thomson.

Unfortunately, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Research shows that some 46% of car seats are not used correctly. Using age- and size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly are the best ways to reduce crash fatalities among children, safety experts say.

Trained technicians can help determine whether children are in the right seat for their age and size, and they can explain the importance of registering car seats with manufacturers, so owners can be notified when there is a recall.

Team members from Children’s & Women’s Hospital and other divisions have been providing free car seat inspections to the public for more than a decade. They plan to continue the initiative quarterly as a community service to patients, their families, and others.

For information on upcoming events, follow the USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital Facebook page.

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