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 provide the following:
- Car seat inspections and education to all units of WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital
- Angle Tolerance Test (car seat challenge) set up. This test is needed for all babies born prior to 37 weeks’ gestation, weighing less than 2500 grams (about 5.51 lb.) at birth, and/or have other qualifying health issues.
- Bedside visits with family/caregivers to offer education and assess needs for childproofing items following an unintentional injury.
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
- Safe sleep education based on current AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) guidelines
- Safe Sleep spaces
- 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 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
- 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.
Safe Sleep for Babies
WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital proudly partners with Cribs for Kids and WV Our Babies: Safe and Sound to ensure that our families and patients are equipped with the most up-to-date Safe Sleep education and resources available.
What does safe sleep look like?
Make sure to always follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep: Alone. Back. Crib.
Infants should always sleep alone on their back, and in crib that is free of any toys, blankets/pillows, loose items, siblings, or caregivers.
Place children under the age of one on a firm, flat surface that conforms to Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, on their back for all sleep.
Infants should never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or recliner alone, or with anyone else. This poses a suffocation/entrapment risk.
Co-sleeping or bed sharing should be avoided.
Wedges and positioners are not to be used according to the Safe Sleep Act of 2022.
Sitting devices like infant seats, swings, strollers, bouncers, Boppy pillows, or anything similar should never be used for routine sleep.
Refrain from smoking during pregnancy and do not allow smoking around your infant.
Do not allow your infant to become overheated during sleep. Do not add multiple layers of clothing to your infant or cover them with a loose blanket. Sleep sacks are a safe alternative to using loose blankets.
Pacifiers are known to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Allow time for breastfeeding to become established before offering a pacifier.
Breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Trauma and Injury Prevention
The WVU Medicine Critical Care & Trauma Institute provides community outreach services with a number of injury prevention programs for children and families.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.