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News Releases

For Immediate Release

New Multi-Agency Car Seat Coalition Formed to Reduce Child-Related Deaths Involving Car Crashes

About 95 percent of car seats installed incorrectly; TECHS group helps ensure kids have safe ride

A new coalition made up of key health care and public safety organizations have come together to form a coalition designed to ensure children are protected when riding in vehicles.

A press conference will be held at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, April 16, 2002, at 1 p.m. to announce the new group, discuss car seat safety and support booster seat legislation.

TECHS, for Team Educators for CHild Safety, is a non-profit coalition of certified child safety seat inspectors that was created to ensure that all children are properly restrained. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 14 and younger.

In support of the groups’ efforts, State Farm Insurance is awarding a $10,000 grant to help TECHS provide comprehensive child car safety seat inspections to the public at no charge.

Unrestrained children are more likely to be injured, suffer more severe injuries, and die in motor vehicle crashes than children who are restrained properly. TECHS, offers free car seat safety checks in various locations in southwestern Pennsylvania. In the past year, the group has noted a 95 to 98 percent error rate in car seat use confirming other research done on car seat misuse. In an effort to decrease errors, the group uses the car seat checks as an opportunity to educate families and caregivers one-on-one.

“Trauma continues to be the leading cause of death in the pediatric population with ejection being the leading cause of mortality in a motor vehicle crash,” said Henri Ford, MD, chief of pediatric surgery and director of the Benedum Pediatric Trauma Center at Children’s. “We also know that children 4 to 7 years old who are involved in a motor-vehicle crash often suffer severe injuries and prolonged hospitalizations. With the expansion of the Child Passenger Safety Law, dedicated professionals like TECHS and funding, we can save lives and help ensure that our children are safer.”

State Representative Katharine Watson, R-Bucks County, will introduce proposed legislation Tuesday to the House of Representatives to expand Pennsylvania’s Child Passenger Safety Law.

TECHS members include the following organizations: AAA, Allegheny County Health Department, Allegheny County Police Department, Bureau of EMS and Bureau of Police, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, City of Pittsburgh, Mercy Hospital, Moon Township Police, PA American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, Ross/West View EMSA and UPMC Braddock.

Contact:
Melanie Tush Finnigan, 412-692-5016, melanie.finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008
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