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Oklahoma Safe Kids Coalition
PO Box 26307
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-9983
(405) 271-5695 Fax (405) 271-2974

FOR RELEASE: August 15, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams


In an effort to reduce motor vehicle-related injury, one of the leading killers of children, and because four out of five child safety seats are used incorrectly, a class in child passenger safety will be held Thursday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition, a program of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the class will focus on crash dynamics, proper use of child safety seats and common mistakes with seats. The class is geared for law enforcement, firefighters, health professionals, child care providers and other child passenger safety advocates.

Continuing education credits are approved for law enforcement, emergency medical service providers and child care providers.

Cost of the class is $10. Interested persons should call (405) 271-5695 to pre-register.

"Despite laws in all 50 states, observation surveys reveal that only 68 percent of all children in Oklahoma are buckled up, and of those, more than 80 percent are not restrained correctly,” said Martha Collar, coalition coordinator.

Each year, nearly 1,400 children (ages 14 and under) in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes and another 280,000 are injured -- most because they are not properly secured in vehicles.

"Most parents believe they are taking all the right steps to protect their kids in the car. They are shocked to learn how complex the process really is," said Collar. “With hundreds of car seats and several different types of seat belt systems in cars, the potential combinations are numerous, which is one reason installation can be so difficult.”

As part of the class, participants will be checking families’ child safety seats for proper installation from 3:30 to 6 p.m., at Southeast Autoplex, 1312 S.E. Washington in Idabel.

The child safety seat training is part of the multi-faceted SAFE KIDS Buckle Up program, a national effort to get more children properly restrained in vehicles. The program, sponsored by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union, was developed in response to the call to reduce the misuse of child safety seats made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Restraint and Vehicle Compatibility.


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