Author: Bridget Gardner, RN, University Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center Injury Prevention Director
Every three minutes.
In Louisiana, someone is in a crash every three minutes. At the Level 1 Trauma Center at University Medical Center, we see all too often the injuries and fatalities that result from motor vehicle crashes – and know that many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper protective equipment.
Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children aged 1-14 in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Protective equipment that could prevent these injuries, such as car seats, booster seats and seat belts, are sometimes underutilized or not used correctly.
When used correctly, child restraints are the number one factor in reducing serious injuries and death in motor vehicle crashes.
Recognizing that some families in Louisiana cannot afford to buy the proper child safety seats,Louisiana’s SONIC Drive In restaurants reached out to us to help. They’ve banded together to raise money for that purpose. SONIC Drive-In has created a “Tot” calendar – which is on sale through February 18 at 147 locations in the state.
If you are visiting University Medical Center, be sure to stop by the hospital gift shop on the first floor, near Tower 1 to pick up a copy of this year’s calendar.
Calendars are only $5 and all proceeds will be being directed to the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force to purchase and distribute child safety seats throughout the state. In addition to free car seat safety tips, the calendar offers more than $45 worth of coupons redeemable towards SONIC Drive-In purchases.
We are extremely appreciative of this partnership, which has raised $103,000 and provided nearly 2,000 child safety seats in just two years. It provides an avenue to reach the unrestrained and improperly restrained population to prevent the injuries that we far too often witness as a Level 1 Trauma Center. SONIC also supports National Seat Check Saturday, an annual statewide event hosted by the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force that provides free child safety seat inspections for all families. This event takes place in September during National Child Safety Week.
If you aren’t sure if your child safety seat is installed correctly, FREE assistance from certified child safety technician is available very Wednesday in our area from 1-4 p.m. at Louisiana State Police Troop B, 2101 1-10 Service Road in Kenner.
As parents, we want to do everything we can to make sure our children are safe. When you ensure that your children are properly restrained in your vehicle, you can reduce serious injuries. Take this important step to make sure your child is safe, every trip and every time.
For more information, go to www.umcno.org/injuryprevention.
Bridget Gardner, RN is a registered nurse and coordinator of the Community Injury Prevention Program at University Medical Center New Orleans. The Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force is a network of certified child passenger safety technicians throughout the state, directed by the University Medical Center Trauma Program.