Effectiveness of Car Seat Clinics Confirmed
February 12, 2007
Workshops conducted to instruct parents on how to secure their children safely on their car seats are deemed quite effective as per a study done by Safe Kids Worldwide. The research takes into account the performance of parents who have undergone child passenger safety clinics held in 29 different states back in 2005.
The review showed that 45 percent of parents have improved their skills in securing their children safely on their booster seats at a second child safety seat clinic. The parents have improved their child safety seat skills after having undergone hands-on instructions on the first safety clinic conducted. While a significant number of parents have benefited from such clinics, Safe Kids Worldwide also cited that there is still room for improvements.
One of the aspects that Safe Kids pointed out that needs improvement is the number of people being reached by such endeavors. The clinics conducted only reached highly educated parents while the less educated sectors did not benefit from the said safety clinics. “We need to do more to reach the communities that need our help most,” Lorrie Walker said. Walker is the training and technical manager for Safe Kids Worldwide. “Safe Kids’ network of more than 600 coalitions and chapters in the United States has the flexibility and skills to meet the needs of each community we serve,” Walker added.
In response to the said problem, Safe Kids and its supporters are working to create more inspection stations in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Their leading financial supporter is General Motors Corporation. “Safe Kids has tools to help educate families of all backgrounds. We need to keep working to reach high-risk groups of parents with communication and training to keep their children properly restrained every time on every trip,” Bob Lange said, GM’s executive director of Structure and Safety Integration. Currently, the organization employs 119 Mobile Car Seat Check Up Vans to reach those communities which have no access to the group’s permanent inspection stations. Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians are also part of the campaign so as to further give the right kind of information to parents and guardians.
Safe Kids also shared that such clinics also need to reach families with older children. Their research shows that on their previously conducted clinics, the most number of participants are children below four years old. This presents a problem since their organization recommends that children should be provided with a booster seat until they are about four feet and 9 inches in height and weighs 80 to 100 pounds. Most kids reach this height and weight by the time they are around 8 to 12 years of age. “In the event of a crash, a belt-positioning booster seat and safety belt provide better protection for most tweens than the adult safety belt alone. Children in this age group are among the least likely to be in the correct restraint. We need to make booster seat use among tweens who need them just as automatic as it is for small children to ride in car seat,” Walker said.
The continued dedication of Safe Kids in educating parents on how to secure their children safely is in consonance with a study that shows how correctly used child safety seats increase the safety of children. Risk of death of children as a result of crash is decreased by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers when the child is properly secured. Using belt-positioning booster seats also cuts the risk of injury to a child by as much as 59 percent. In cases where an EBC rotor and calipers is not enough to avoid crashes, proper installation of child safety seats plays a vital role in the protection of your most precious cargo.
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