El Paso

Free class teaches parents how to safely install child car seat

Good Morning El Paso Child car seat...

EL PASO, Texas - Local organizations are helping Borderland families keep their children safely strapped into their car seats.

The University Medical Foundation and El Paso Children's host monthly events to check if a family's car seat is safe for the road.

With the help of up to 30 volunteers, the class inspects vehicles to make sure car seats are fitted properly.

"You can get the most expensive car seat, but if it's not installed properly then it's not going to do its job," said Carolyn Williams, Volunteer Corps Program Manager for the University Medical Center Foundation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3 out of 4 child car seats are improperly installed.

The monthly clinics distribute free car seats, instruct families with Child Passenger Safety Education and evaluate children for safe travel.

Since the program started, the UMC Foundation has given out 2,153 new car seats to families in the El Paso community.

Anna Red, Injury Prevention Coordinator for El Paso Children's Hospital, said it's crucial for families to take the class to prevent some of the most common mistakes.

The Texas Department of Transportation lists the top five mistakes as the following:

- Harness straps through wrong slots     
- Chest clip incorrectly positioned
- Harness too loose
- Wrong seat belt path used
- Loose safety seat installation

Red said car seats should be placed at a 30 to 45-degree angle from the floor to avoid an infant's head from falling forward and obstructing their airway.

El Paso Health, the only locally operated non-profit health maintenance organization granted the UMC Foundation $60,000 to keep the program running for three more years.

To make a class reservation, call (915) 521-7229, ext. 8052.


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