The Safe Kids Larimer County coalition is administered out of the UCHealth Community Health Improvement Department in Fort Collins and needs 100 infant car seats and 50 convertible car seats for infants/toddlers whose parents cannot afford to purchase the safety equipment. Safe Kids has partnered with the Evenflo Company for the child passenger safety equipment.
Each car seat comes with education so it is a great benefit to the community as well as the child; 4 classes are offered per month (3 in English, 1 in Spanish). Our community health educators also monitor the best practices of community preventive services which report that distribution programs are effective when conducted in hospitals and clinics and are effective among both affluent and low income populations.
Why Car Seats?
Providing for the health care and wellness needs of a diverse and growing marketplace is important to us and helps us strive for our mission: From health care to health.
Motor vehicle injuries represent the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. (Source: NHTSA, 2008 data). Many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the estimate of injury is reduced by 71-82%.
Larimer County was among ten counties with six or more unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities (all seat positions) in 2011.
The safety of Infants and toddlers in our community is up to us. Their parents may be aware of the requirements and benefits of placing their child in a car seat, but they cannot afford to purchase a new, safe child passenger restraint. Providing a car seat along with installation training is based on evidence that when the parents receive this instruction, they are more compliant about using the equipment for their child.
Our inventory needs to be replenished frequently. The recommended time a car seat is safe to use is generally six years after the date of manufacturer. This is because clasps, release buttons, and clips wear with use. Safe Kids Larimer County does not encourage that parents use a previously used car seat.
Safe Kids Larimer County and the programming of the Community Health Improvement Department at PVH is a victim of its success. Until this year we were able to purchase the car seats with funding from the state of Colorado’s Department of Transportation. Fortunately, in Larimer County, occupant protection rates for 0-4 year-olds is at 100%; for booster seats it is 96.5 percent. As such, the high rate of compliance in our community reduced our position for receiving funding for car seats in 2013-2014.
This doesn’t mean the need is absent from our community… Every child in our community deserves to be safe with a car seat that fits them and is new, free from damage, and installed properly. On average, Safe Kids Larimer County gives $25,000 in car seats to families each year. The need is great and persistent, $11,400 will sustain the program through the end of 2014 when additional support will be necessary to continue to keep our community’s kids safe.
Help us save lives by donating today at https://pvhandmcr.thankyou4caring.org/donate.