Free Child Car Seat Inspections Offered at Texas Health Dallas
02/15/2013

DALLAS — Car accidents are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old. Even when child restraints are used, studies show three out of four car seats are used incorrectly.

That’s why Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is hosting free child car seat inspections at the hospital on the first Saturday of each month. Parents can call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355) to reserve a 30 minute one-on-one session with a certified child passenger safety technician to learn how they can keep their children safe while traveling.

“There are basic guidelines about car seat safety every parent should know,” said Holly Roberts, R.N., a certified car safety passenger technician and a nurse in the newborn nursery at Texas Health Dallas.

During the free event, certified technicians will also assist parents with car seat fitting and installation, as well as provide education about child restraints and how to properly use their purchased rear facing car seats, forward facing car seats and booster seats.

“When used properly, car seats can help save lives,” Roberts said.

The program, called Child Automobile Safety Initiative, is part of Texas Health Dallas’ mission to improve the health of the people in the local community. Parents must bring their purchased car seat, the car seat manufacturer manual and their child to the event. The program also offers safety tips for parents traveling with children.

Basic recommendations for children include:

  • Birth to 12 months
    Children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • 1 to 3 years
    Children should remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the seat’s manufacture. Once the child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing seat with a harness.
  • 4 to 7 years
    Children should stay in a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the seat’s manufacturer. Once children outgrow the forward-facing car seat, it’s time to travel in a booster seat.
  • 8 to 12 years
    Children should remain in a booster seat until they’re big enough (usually 4-foot-9) to fit in the car’s seat with a properly-fitting seatbelt. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
  • Children should still ride in the back seat until age 13 because it’s safer there.

For more information about the Child Automobile Safety Initiative at Texas Health Dallas, or to sign up for one of the monthly safety classes, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.