Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, through the Kohl’s Stay Seat Smart Program, is partnering with Safe Kids Cumberland Valley, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department and the Rutherford County Health Department to host a free car seat check event.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated car safety seat recommendations. This event will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the recent changes that call for children to remain in a rear-facing car safety seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
What: Free Community Car Seat Checks
When: Thursday, Sept. 19, 10a.m. to noon
Where: Rutherford County Health Department, 100 W. Burton St., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37130
“Previously, the AAP specified children should remain rear facing at least to age 2,” said Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager at Children’s Hospital. “The new recommendation removes the specific age milestone. The good news is that car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means they will be past their second birthday.”
Unni suggests that parents check the instruction manual and labels on car seats for the manufacturer’s weight and height limits.
“When a child is approaching one of those limits, it is time to think about transitioning to the next stage,” she said.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death among children in Tennessee and the leading cause of death for children ages 3-14 nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An estimated 82% of car seats are not used or installed properly.
Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available at the free car seat check to instruct drivers on proper installation and ensure children are safely restrained.
Children’s Hospital, through the Kohl’s Stay Seat Smart Program made possible by Kohl’s Cares, addresses car seat misuse through education, community outreach and media awareness to increase the number of children riding safely in a car and prevent injuries or death.