Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville Hosts Free Community Car Seat Check
05/02/2011

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Have you had your child’s car seat checked since new recommendations were released earlier this year?

From 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville will offer a free car seat check in the Stephenville Walmart parking lot. No appointments are required, but you should bring your child in the vehicle.

Earlier this year the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revised their recommendations for car seats. Children should remain in rear-facing seats until they turn two or outgrow the height and weight limits of the seat. For children older than 2, the groups recommend staying in a five-point harness seat as long as possible before switching to a booster seat. Also, the groups say that age should no longer be a determining factor of when to move out of the booster seats, but rather only after the child is 57 inches tall.

All 50 states require the use of child safety seats because they do save lives. Even with these new laws, motor vehicle traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for children age 3 and older.

In 2006, an estimated 425 children younger than 5 years old were saved by child restraints, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using child safety seats reduces the risk of fatal injury in a car crash by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips to parents trying to sort their way through the car safety seat maze. The group recommends that parents keep the following tips in mind:

  • No one seat is the “best” or “safest.” The best seat is the one that fits the child’s size, is correctly installed, fits well in the vehicle, and is used properly every time you drive.
  • Avoid using price as an indicator of quality. A higher price does not mean the seat is safer or easier to use.
  • Stay away from used seats if you don’t know the seat’s history. Never use a car safety seat that is too old, missing instructions, parts or a manufacturer’s labels, has any visible cracks or was recalled.
  • Do not use seats that have been in a crash without checking with the manufacturers’ guidelines.

The good news is that a majority of parents buckle up their children in child safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts. However, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used properly, which is a grave risk when traveling.

“On this day, parents have the chance to visit with a certified child passenger safety technician, which will inspect their child’s safety seat and provide hands on advice, instructions, and installation demonstrations,” said Jennifer McMeens R.N., clinical educator at Texas Health Stephenville.

Even if you’ve had your child’s seat inspected before, it never hurts to have a refresher. So don’t miss out on free child safety seat inspections. For more information on car seats, visit TexasHealth.org or healthychildren.org. Also, information about the hospital can also be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/TexasHealthStephenville.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Stephenville.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.