December 9, 2002

UCSD Medical Center Educates New Parents
On The Importance of Car Seats In A County With
96% Misuse Rate

New parents learn the importance of the correct use of a child safety seat before leaving the hospital with their newborn at UCSD Medical Center. Educating parents on how to prevent injuries to newborns by properly fitting the child to the seat is part of an education program funded in part by the Kids' Plate Grant and coordinated by Cindy Hearrell, R.N., B.A., C.E.N., Child Passenger Safety Educator, UCSD Healthcare.

The UCSD Medical Center Infant Special Care staff demonstrate the correct use of a child safety seat before the parents leave the hospital with their newborn. Educating parents on how to prevent injuries to newborns by properly fitting the child to the seat is part of an education program funded in part by the Kids' Plate Grant.

San Diego County has a 96 percent misuse rate of a child improperly placed in a child safety seat. At the time of the newborns discharge the parents are educated on the correct use of their car seat. The newborn is properly fitted into the seat and educational instruction and material is given to the parents to take home.

Parents are referred to the San Diego Safe Kids Coalition Car Seat Check ups for assistance with correct installation in their vehicles. This program is funded in part by the Kids' Plate Grant. The grant funds are provided with proceeds from sales of the new "Kids' Plates," vehicle specialty license plates that generate funds for the prevention of child injury and abuse, and child care health and safety programs.

UCSD Medical Center was one of 25 organizations selected from 200 applicants to receive funding from the grant for the educational program.

"The Kids' Plates program will have real impact on children's health and safety in our community," said Hearrell.

"Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death and serious injuries to children under the age of 14," said Hearrell.

Kids' Plates can be purchased for cars, trucks and trailers. Kids' Plates with a personal message cost $50 with a yearly renewal of $40. Vehicle owners can purchase Kids' Plates by calling 1-800-HEY-KIDS or through the Internet at http://kidsplates.org or contact UCSD Medical Center's Child Passenger Safety Program at 619-543-3141.

 

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News Media Contact:
Eileen Callahan
619-543-6163

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/