Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians staff community events designed to help drivers understand children’s vehicle safety needs, based on their ages, weights and developmental stages. Motorists generally make appointments to attend scheduled, publicized checkup events in convenient community locations. A driver brings his or her child, the car seat or booster seat they currently use, the vehicle owners manual and the car seat instructions.
The technicians follow a standardized checklist to ensure that all safety aspects relative to the child, the car seat and the vehicle seating location are explored. The motto for every event is: “Children leave safer than when they arrived!”
Checkup inspection and education are free to the public. However, replacement car seats are not free and not always available. If a replacement car seat or booster seat is needed and available, a contribution may be requested, based on the seat’s actual cost. Safe Kids Buckle Up grants may minimize cost. Contributions are used to purchase additional car seats so that the program can continue for other families.
Riding unrestrained is the single greatest risk factor for death and injury among child motor vehicle occupants. Among children ages 14 and younger killed in motor vehicle crashes as occupants in 2004, 50 percent were not using safety restraints at the time of the collision.
Misuse is common. An estimated 85 percent of children who are placed in child safety seats and booster seats are improperly restrained. Misuse includes, but is not limited to, using an inappropriate seat for a child’s age and size, placing an infant less than 1 year or less than 20 pounds in a forward-facing seat, not securing the seat tightly in the vehicle, and not securing the child correctly in the seat.
The back seat is safest. It is estimated that children under age 13 are up to 36 percent less likely to die in a crash if they are in a rear seat of a passenger vehicle.
Please visit www.usa.safekids.org for more information.
You can help by:
The Safe Kids program is completely funded by grants and donations.
Val Verde Regional Medical Center