Texas Health Stephenville Offering Free Car Seat Checks
09/09/2009

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Texas Health Methodist Hospital Stephenville will hold a free car seat check day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

An estimated 270,000 children are injured and more than 1,765 children are killed in motor vehicle crashes each year, according to the SAFE KIDS campaign. New state rules are tougher to ensure that children are safely buckled into safety seats. It’s a great time for parents of all children, particularly those younger than age 8, to get their safety seats checked.

During the free event, parents will be able to have car seats checked and will learn if a new seat is required. Car seat safety technicians will check to see if the car seat is appropriate for the age, weight and size of the child, as well as if it is positioned in the safest place of the car, if the seat belts are being used correctly and if the seat is safe to use. The City of Stephenville and Stephenville police and fire departments are participating.

Last week, state law was changed to mandate that children 8 years or younger, unless they are taller than 4-foot-9, must use child safety seats.

“Car seats can help save children’s lives,” said Jennifer McMeens, R.N., clinical educator and child passenger safety technician at Texas Health Stephenville. “Child passenger safety technicians would rather install a car seat correctly and prevent injuries than to have an injured child come into our hospital because their car seat was installed incorrectly. We can help prevent that from happening and we want to keep children from getting hurt in our community.”

Many parents are unaware of the recommendations for child safety seats. For example, all infants should ride rear-facing in either an infant car seat or convertible seat and toddlers should remain rear-facing in a convertible car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2. Also, according to carseat.org, car seats have expiration dates because weather can cause the material to deteriorate.

“Having the proper safety seat in place, and installed correctly, is a crucial step to keeping children safe,” McMeens said.

For more information on the event, call 254-965-1262. For more information on child safety seats, visit dshs.state.tx.us/saferiders or usa.saferiders.org.

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, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy 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 care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.