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Led by Children’s & Women’s Hospital staff members, Safe Kids South Alabama and State Farm teamed up to keep kids safe with free car seat safety checks on May 30.

Published Jun 5th, 2024

By Casandra Andrews

Parents and caregivers joined safety experts on May 30 for a car seat checkup event hosted by Safe Kids South Alabama and State Farm to address one of the leading causes of death for children ages 1 to 12.

Through a grant provided by State Farm, certified child passenger safety technicians from USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital — who lead Safe Kids South Alabama — worked with dozens of families to offer education on the proper installation and use of their car seats. More than 30 seats were inspected during the event held in the Eight Mile community.

The car seat checks were part of the Good Neighbor Car Seat Safety Program, a national initiative to increase access to education and resources, help inspire behavior change, and create a culture of safety for children and families.

Unfortunately, more car seats and booster seats are needed to prevent serious injuries caused in motor vehicle accidents. National data from 2021 shows that 1 in 3 children younger than age 13 who died in a crash was not restrained. Studies that examine child car seats estimate that more than half of seats are not used or installed correctly.

That’s why making sure your car seat or booster is installed properly is so important.

“A properly used and installed child safety seat can reduce the risk of injury by as much as 71%,” said Courtney Thomson, RNC-NIC, BSN, a nurse at Children’s & Women’s Hospital who leads the car seat technician team. “Unfortunately, many families don’t have access to the education and safety devices that every child needs. This grant will allow us to reach underserved areas with education and resources. We are very honored to serve our community and help reduce serious injury in motor vehicle accidents."

USA Health employs more than 20 nationally certified car seat technicians, who offer free community outreach events to check proper car seat and booster installation every quarter.

With some 3.6 million children born in the U.S. every year, State Farm officials say they are committed to helping keep kids safe through partnerships with groups such as Safe Kids South Alabama.

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