Car Seat

Protect Your Child With A Local Car Seat Safety Check

Children and cars can be a dangerous combination. Always keep safety in mind, whether it’s keeping kids safe in and around vehicles, having the latest safety features on your car, or making sure you have child car seats properly installed for the appropriate ages. Teens also create a safety concern and parents need to make sure they are driving the right vehicle, are trained properly, and avoid distractions behind the wheel.

A child should be restrained in a car seat from the moment you take your baby home from the hospital until she grows into adult seat belts.  A child will be ready for an adult seat belt typically around the age of 7 or 8. Every state requires that kids up to 4 years old ride in car seats; most require booster seats for older children.

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.  But many of these deaths can be prevented. Buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries.  Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants age one year and under by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles.  Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.  For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half.

In the United States during 2011, more than 650 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes,5 and more than 148,000 were injured.  One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time/

So, how can injuries to children in motor vehicles be prevented?  Based on strong evidence of effectiveness, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends car seat laws and car seat distribution plus education programs to increase restraint use and decrease injuries and deaths to child passengers.  Philly.com informed the public of the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program.

To keep parents better informed, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program has partnered with Safe Kids Buckle Up Program and Safe Kids Southeastern PA Coalition to provide car seat safety checks free of charge. Whether you have a newborn or an older child in a booster seat, you can gain added peace of mind that he or she is safe while in the car.

The program offers many different days, times and locations from which to choose to accommodate your busy schedules. You need to make an appointment; so, make sure you call 267-426-5714 or visit them online to find out what time slots are still available.

In Northeast Philadelphia, there will be a check-in at the Philadelphia Fire Department – Engine 22 on June 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. St. Christopher Hospital for Children is also hosting one on June 2 also from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you live or work in Bucks County, then a close one to you might be the car safety check at the Parent’s Center at St. Mary Medical Center. Appointments are available for Wednesday, May 28 (3 p.m. -6 p.m.), Saturday, June 7 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) and Wednesday, June 18 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

Delaware County folk have two locations to choose from. On May 15 and June 5, both Thursdays, you can make an appointment between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Middletown Fire Department. In Crum Lynn, a convenient choice is the S.M. Vauclain Fire Company.  A car seat check-in will be held there on June 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In Montgomery County, you can attend check-ins at either Abington Memorial Hospital May 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or the Plymouth Fire Company May 14 and May 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Don’t forget to ask the certified technicians at these check-ins about the new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for how long your child should be in a rear-facing car seat and for other helpful tips like whether it is safe to buy a used car seat.

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