Free Community Car Seat Check Offered at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton|
DENTON, Texas — Did you know that Texas state law requires children to be in a car safety seat until they are eight years of age, unless the child is taller than 4-foot-9?
Texas Health Denton urges parents and caregivers to have their children’s car seats checked Sat., Nov. 3. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available to inspect car seats and provide free hands-on advice from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the main hospital building parking lot. Inspections are by appointment only. To schedule an inspection, interested parties should call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/carseat.
The federal government has updated car seat recommendations for children through age 12. Texas Health Denton wants to make sure families are aware of the recommendations, and they want to help parents do all they can to best protect their child when traveling.
In motor vehicle crashes, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than 1 and by 54 percent for children 1 to 4 in passenger cars, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2009 alone, 754 children 12 or younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes while riding in passenger cars or light trucks. And among those who were fatally injured where restraint use was known, 42 percent were unrestrained. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented if the children were in the right restraint for their age and size.
Unfortunately, many adults don’t realize the NHTSA has updated car seat recommendations for children through age 12. The modified recommendations emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type:
- Birth – 12 months
For the best possible protection, your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
- 1 – 3 years
Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
- 4 – 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
- 8 – 12 years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. 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.
The NHTSA’s general recommendations for car seat safety include:
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit a local inspection station, such as the Texas Health Denton car seat check, to assist them in proper use of their children’s car seats. Texas Health Denton will host car seat inspections the first Sat. of each month.
About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton is a 255-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served North Texas and southern Oklahoma since 1987. The hospital’s services include: heart and vascular; a Level III neonatal intensive care unit; orthopedics and sports medicine; neck, spine and pain management; emergency medicine; an accredited sleep center; women’s services; and a weight loss surgery program that has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. As one of the largest employers in Denton County, Texas Health Denton has more than 900 employees and more than 300 physicians on the medical staff practicing in more than 43 specialties. Texas Health Denton is an accredited chest pain center, and is certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and designated by the State of Texas as a Primary Stroke Facility. Texas Health Denton is an affiliate of Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States.
For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Denton.