On Jan. 8, Salem Health convened a first-ever stakeholder gathering at the Oregon Department of Transportation aimed at establishing smart solutions to improper car seat use to keep kids safer on the road. The initiative addresses a significant need for child passenger safety education and resources for new parents and high-need families.
The American Society for the Positive Care of Children estimates that 59% of car seats are installed or used improperly nationwide and Safe Kids Worldwide report that road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children in the United States.
Presently, only one organization in the region provides community car seat checks on site.
The newly created Mid-Valley Car Seat Safety Coalition will centralize efforts in the Salem area, serving as a one-stop-shop for information regarding resources and training opportunities. Keizer Fire District along with OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and ODOT plan to host trainings for staff from partner organizations to gain certification in proper child seat use.
“With all these touch points, the idea is to have more certified, trained technicians available to the community,” Nancy Baldwin, Salem Health CHEC supervisor said. “Our goal is to ensure resources are accessible for all families in need.”