According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2020, more than 600 child passengers ages 12 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and more than 63,000 were injured. Of the children who were killed in a crash, 38% were not buckled up. This is why UMC Foundation’s El Paso Health Car Seat Safety Program holds free car seat safety events one Saturday a month. Parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference by learning how to make sure that their children are properly buckled on every trip by using this community service we offer.
In order to participate in an upcoming car seat event, click here to register. Please contact Carolyn Williams at (915) 521-7229, Ext. 80528 or email her: CWilliams@umcelpaso.org for more information. You can also use our Events Calendar.
At the car seat safety events, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) will evaluate your child’s car seat to make sure it is the appropriate size for your child’s age, height and weight. CPST’s will also verify whether or not the car seat meets current safety standards and is properly installed in the vehicle. If they determine that a new car seat is needed, and the appropriate car seat is available, one will be provided by the program free of charge. Your CPST will then teach you how to install the car seat in your vehicle, harness your child properly, and provide you with additional child passenger safety education. If your current car seat does not need to be replaced, your technician will make sure that the parent/caregiver is able to correctly install the car seat and harness their child. Additional child passenger safety education will be provided to the parent/caregiver and the technician will be able to address questions and/or concerns.
According to the CDC, researchers who observed children riding in cars in a 2011 study estimated that 46% of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Car seat misuse estimates are even higher at 59% when booster seats are excluded. The most common errors were: incorrect recline angle for rear-facing car seats, loose installation for all car seats, loose harness for all car seats, harness behind child’s arms, legs, or back in forward-facing car seats, improper lap belt position for booster seats, and improper shoulder belt position for booster seats.
The El Paso Health Car Seat Safety Program is committed to safe travel for all children. This pledge extends to children that are temporarily unable to travel in a conventional car seat due to medical reasons. The Special Needs Car Seat Loaner Program provides special needs car seats to patients discharging from the hospital with a cast or leg braces. Once the cast or brace is removed, the special needs car seat is returned to the program. Families receiving assistance from the Special Needs Car Seat Loaner Program must be referred to the program by their provider or staff at University Medical Center or El Paso Children’s Hospital. The Special Needs Car Seat Loaner Program has a limited number of car seats available. Distribution of a seat is based on the availability of the appropriate seat for the child.
There are no eligibility requirements in terms of income or residency to register for the monthly community events. However, the child/children must be present at the event unless they are not yet born.
The Foundation is always in need of certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians to assist families at our monthly car seat safety events. Child Passenger Safety Technicians are eligible for a stipend for their services at each event hosted by the Foundation. To learn how you can become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, please visit: https://cert.safekids.org/become-tech.
Families received child passenger safety information
Children evaluated for safe travel
Car seats provided to families in need