A Critical Service
The Injury Prevention and Safety Program provides childproofing education following a preventable injury and car seat safety education, including car seat inspections and installations. The program provides car seats and other necessary safety items for families in financial or emergency need, including replacement car seats following a car accident and loaner seats for special healthcare needs. Our certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians provide services to patients during hospitalization and to the community by appointment. The Injury Prevention and Safety team is available to participate in community events and educate small groups.
Unintentional Injuries: No. 1 Cause of Death and Disability Among Children
Each year, approximately one in four children sustains an unintentional injury that requires medical care. Unintentional injuries are the number one cause of death and disability among children in the United States. Often predictable and preventable, these injuries kill more children between the ages of one and 19 than all other causes combined.
The most common cause of death from unintentional injury in all children are motor vehicle crashes. It’s important to note:
- The proper use of child restraints is the most effective strategy to prevent injury or death.
- Recently, guidelines were revised to an age-based system that delays the progression in the type of restraint for most children.
For infants less than one year of age, suffocation is the leading cause of death from unintentional injury.
Services We Provide
Our Child Passenger Safety Technicians with special needs training provide the following:
- Car seat inspections and education to all units of WVU Medicine Children’s
- Angle Tolerance Test (car seat challenge) set up (This test is needed for all babies born before 37 weeks gestation, weigh less than 2500 grams at birth, or have other health issues.)
- NICU parent education classes
- Visit with family/caregivers at bedside, following unintentional injury, for education and assess needs for childproofing items
Our program also assists families by providing:
- Car seats and other necessary safety items for families who qualify for car seat assistance
- Replacement of car seats that have endured motor vehicle crashes
- Childproofing items based on injury and home assessment
- Locking medication box or bag, window/door/cabinet locks, anti-tip furniture brackets
- Loaner car seats for special healthcare needs, such as prematurity, myelomeningocele (a form of spina bifida), and hip spica cast following orthopedic injury or surgery
- Car seat installations for the public by appointment weekdays between 7 am – 3 pm
- Participation in community events
Car Seat Safety
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all parents and caregivers observe the following car seat safety guidelines:
- Keep all children in a rear-facing position as long as possible, up to the limits of the seat or until the child reaches a minimum age of two years of age.
- All children should ride in a forward-facing seat, up to the limits of the seat or until at least five years of age.
- Older children must ride in a booster seat until child is four feet, nine inches tall
- Lap and shoulder belts are required for all children, booster seat age and older.
- Must be 13 years of age to ride in the front seat.
Kohl’s Healthy Babies
Injury prevention begins with mothers, before children are born. Kohl’s Healthy Babies provides support for West Virginia moms and their babies by delivering need-based services in conjunction with community partners:
- Families in need may receive pack ‘n’ plays to ensure newborns have safe places to sleep
- Car seats are available (need-based)
- One-on-one education in communities and hospitals
- Enhanced education for high-risk families and mothers at risk for postpartum depression
- Education and support on parenting, infant care and development, safety, breastfeeding, self-care, “baby blues”, and postpartum depression
- Connection to community programs and support services
- Follow up and continued connection for new parents, including phone calls after discharge to provide support, education, and connection to necessary resources
- Group classes
The Kohl’s Healthy Babies program is a resource for high-risk parenting groups, such as foster parents, parents in addiction treatment, and mothers who require long-term pre-birth hospitalization.
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