Car Seat Program

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 3 to 14. Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (younger than 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively.

 
Recommendations for children of all ages:
  • Select a car seat based on your child's age, height and weight.
  • Keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as your child fits the seat's height and weight requirements.
  • All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.
NEW! In a revised policy published in the April 2011 the American Association of Pediatrics advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
Arizona Law requires that all child passengers under 5 years of age be secured in a car safety seat.  The seat must meet appropriate height and weight specifications for the child.
TMC recognizes that as children grow, how they sit safely in a car, truck, van or SUV changes.  For the maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers simply need to remember and follow the 4 Basic Steps for Kids.
    • Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to age 2 or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
    • Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age 2 and at least 20 pounds until the harness no longer fits or supports the height/weight of the child.
    • Use booster seats in the back seat with lap and should belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test.
    • Once your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test use seat belts in the back seat on every ride.
All children under age 13 should ride in the back seat.
Does your child pass the Safety Belt Fit Test?
    • Have your child sit in a back seat with their bottom and back against the vehicle’s back. 
    • Do the child’s knees bend at the seat’s edge? 
    • If yes, go on. 
    • If not, the child must remain in a booster seat.
    • Buckle the seat belt.
    • Does the lap belt stay low on the hips?
    • If yes, go on.
    • If it rests on the stomach, the child must remain in a booster seat.
    • Look at the shoulder belt
    • Does the it lay on the collarbone and shoulder?
    • If yes, go on.
    • If it’s on the face of neck, the child must remain in a booster seat.
    • Can the child maintain the correct seating position with shoulder belt resting on the shoulder and the lap belt low across the hips?
    • If yes, the child has passed the Safety Belt Fit Test.
    • If no, the child must remain in a booster seat and re-test in a month.

Tucson Medical Center has been lending car seats for more than 26 years to promote safety for children in Tucson and all of southern Arizona. Our Car Seat Loaner Program offers short term loans up to six months, on life-saving car seats.

Special Needs Program – Car seat loans for children with special needs.  Physician or therapist referral required.
Children Are Priceless Passengers (C.A.P.P.) – Sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.  An education and car seat distribution program for children newborn through years. Program registration available online https://www.tmcaz.com/TucsonMedicalCenter/Maternity/CAPP_Program or by calling (520) 324-2075.
Boost Your Booty – Sponsored by Kohl’s Cares for Kids and the TMC Foundation.  Booster seats for children over 5 years and over 40 pounds.
Car seats are available by appointment.  For information or to schedule an appointment, call (520) 324-5604.
More information about car seats and child safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).