The Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services OB Department is proud to announce that staff members Katie Cornish and Tanya Windle recently attended an intensive 4 day training class to become CPSTs, also known as Child Passenger Safety Technicians. During this time, OB Techs Cornish and Windle worked with Safe Kids Worldwide and the Illinois Department of Transportation on safety and best practice of using and installing car seats. While at the training they completed 3 written exams and performed skills tests to show competency. As part of their training, they also participated in a community car seat safety inspection event, at which they inspected installations and educated parents and families on proper usage of their car seats.
Shocking information was brought back and shared with staff, including the following:
· 80-95% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
· Automobile accidents are the number one cause of fatalities in children.
· 60% of crashes involving children are 10 minutes or less from home.
· 16% of parents say that it is ok not to have their child restrained if driving overnight; however, that is the time period when children are most likely to be injured if they are in an accident.
· In 2011, 679 children ages 12 and under died from motor vehicle accidents.
· Kids learn by example. When parents make exceptions regarding car seat use, it sends a powerful message to kids that it is not important to buckle up for every ride, every time. As kids get older, they may be more likely to find excuses to avoid buckling up.
· We are already seeing evidence of this trend as teenagers have the lowest rate of seat belt use of all age groups, and only 54% of high school students report always wearing a seat belt when riding with someone else. In 2011, 2,638 teenagers from ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes. (Ferguson RW, Green A, Walker L. Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time. Washington, DC: Safe Kids Worldwide, September 2013)
While car seats expire every 6 years, there are other factors to determine if the car seat that has been chosen for a child is safe. With OB staff members who are now certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, GAHHS is able to provide this important inspection service to the communities we serve.
Katie and Tanya are available to educate parents/caregivers on proper installations of their own infant or child car seats and will conduct education/safety inspections through Checkup Events and Individual Appointments with expecting parents, parents with young children, or caregivers.
The Gibson Area Hospital OB Department looks forward to educating families in area communities on the importance of car seat safety by decreasing the rate of incorrect usage to help save lives. If you would like to have your car seat checked, or if you know someone who needs their seat checked, please contact the OB Department at (217) 784-2510, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and schedule a time with Tanya or Katie. Weekday or weekend appointments are available. They are excited to share the Safe Kids Moto… “Buckle UP: Every Ride, Every Time.”
For more sources on child passenger safety please visit these sites:
American Academy of Pediatrics www.aap.org
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration www.nhtsa.dot.gov
Consumer Product Safety Commission www.cpsc.gov
National CPS Certification http://cert.safekids.org