News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

Properly Installed Car and Booster Seats Make a Difference for Children Involved in Vehicle Crashes

National Child Passenger Safety Week is Feb. 8 – 14

Car seat safety checkpoints and a year-old state booster seat law are helping make young passengers in motor vehicles safer, but the vast majority of safety seats continue to be installed improperly.

More than 90 percent of all car seats are installed improperly, according to Barbara Gaines, MD, co-director of the Benedum Trauma Program of Children’s.

Children’s and other organizations are sponsoring car seat safety checkpoints during National Child Passenger Safety Week, Feb. 8 – 14, and all throughout the year in order to educate families about the safest way to transport children.

A year ago on Feb. 21, 2003, Pennsylvania passed a law requiring children ages 4 to 8 who are motor vehicle passengers to be transported in a booster seat or appropriate child passenger safety seat. Children younger than 4 years old also must be an appropriate child passenger safety seat.

“Car and booster seats, when properly installed, prevent injuries and save lives,” Dr. Gaines said. “Children who are unrestrained are more likely to be injured, suffer more severe injuries and die in motor vehicle crashes than children who are restrained.”

Among children ages 5 – 14, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. However, the number of patients admitted to Children’s ages 4 to 8 involved in motor vehicles crashes who were unrestrained has decreased over the last three years, with 21 in 2001; 14 in 2002; and 11 in 2003.

Free car seat safety checkpoints are being sponsored by Team Educators for Child Safety (TECHS), a non-profit coalition of certified child safety seat inspectors – of which Children’s is a member – that was created in 2002 to ensure that children are properly restrained. The program is free and open to the public, but appointments are necessary. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 412-247-7821. Please allow 30 minutes for each car seat being inspected.

For car seat safety information, community classes and other information, please visit Children’s Web site at and click on “Injury Prevention.”

Editor’s note: Media are invited to attend the next TECHS car seat safety checkpoints, which are being held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004, at the Pittsburgh EMS Station, 220 22nd St., Strip District; and from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004 at the Ford City Fire Hall on 10th Street in Ford City.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 19, 2008
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Last Update
February 19, 2008