OHSU Doernbecher launches free car seat fitting station, safety check program

03/27/12  Portland, Ore.


Thursday, March 29, at 3 p.m. The participating family welcomes interviews.


Parking turnaround, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, 700 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland


Media are invited to OHSU Doernbecher’s first drive-up car seat safety check.

The Tom Sargent Children's Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is launching a free car seat fitting station and safety check program to ensure children ride as safely as possible when traveling by car.

Tragically, the leading cause of death among children in the United States is motor vehicle injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And with that in mind, Ben Hoffman, M.D., medical director of OHSU Doernbecher's Tom Sargent Children's Safety Center, and a team of nationally certified child passenger safety technicians have developed a program to educate families and help put their minds at ease.

"We know that using age- and size-appropriate car and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than 50 percent. Unfortunately, car seats can be confusing and difficult for families to use, resulting in four out of five being used incorrectly," explained Hoffman. "That's why car seat safety education and outreach programs like this one are so important. We want to help families learn to use car seats correctly for each and every ride. We are excited to be able to offer this service," said Hoffman, one of two pediatricians in the country nationally certified as car seat technician instructors.

Car seat safety checks are available by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call the OHSU Doernbecher Tom Sargent Safety Center: 503-418-5666.

Families who've scheduled a car seat safety check need to bring their child and their car safety seat in the car they typically use to transport their child to the turnaround in front of OHSU Doernbecher. Two certified child passenger safety technicians will first inspect the car seat to be sure it hasn't been recalled or expired. They will then teach the family how to correctly install their safety seat and ensure their child is properly secured. The OHSU Doernbecher car seat fitting station can also help expectant families use their seats correctly.

Thanks to a generous grant from Kohl's Cares, low-cost safety seats are available for qualified families (e.g., Oregon Health Plan and WIC recipients) should a family's car seat need to be replaced due to expiration, recall or improper fit.

About OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital

OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital ranks among the top children's hospitals in the United States in eight clinical specialties.* It ranks 36th nationally for NIH-awarded pediatric research funding among children's hospitals affiliated with an academic medical center**, and is one of only 22 NIH-designated Child Health Research Centers in the country.

OHSU Doernbecher cares for tens of thousands of children each year from Oregon, southwest Washington and around the nation, resulting in more than 175,000 discharges, surgeries, transports and outpatient visits annually.

Nationally recognized OHSU Doernbecher physicians and nurses provide a full range of pediatric care in the most patient- and family-centered environment. These highly trained clinicians also travel throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, providing specialty care to more than 3,000 children at more than 150 outreach clinics in 15 locations. In addition, OHSU Doernbecher delivers neonatal and pediatric critical care consultation to community hospitals statewide through its state-of-the-art telemedicine network. 

* U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals 2011-12 
** National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions