Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Many of these deaths can be prevented. In the United States during 2014, 602 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 121,350 were injured. One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time.
Buckling children in age and size appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries: Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
The Kohl’s and LSU Health Shreveport CARKEYS program increases awareness of the importance of properly installed child restraint systems. The Kohl’s grant allows the LSU Health Shreveport Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital to assist, train, and certify local safety and law enforcement officers through the NHTSA to become Child Passenger Safety Technicians. The CPS technicians then educate the community through the CARKEYS free car seat checks and Kohl’s funded fitting stations located throughout Northwest Louisiana. CPS technicians remove and inspect car seats and then show the family how to properly install the car seat providing a new one when necessary.