NEWS | November 9, 2018

Safety for all

Car seat program reaches low-income and immigrant families


Car seats are proven to protect kids from injuries during sudden stops, swerves or crashes, however they are not always easy to use, especially for families new to our country. For lower-resource families, they also might not be easy to buy.

refugee training
Community educator Misael Chavarin shows parents and parents-to-be how to properly use car seats.

The UC Davis Health Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program is making sure that’s not the case in our community.

Thanks to a partnership with the Sacramento Food Bank in Oak Park and funding from Kohl’s Cares, program staff provide families on public assistance with access to car seat education and, if they don’t already have one, a car seat. The education session also can be provided in English, Spanish or Dari.

“Car seats aren’t mandatory in all countries like they are in the U.S.,” said Christy Adams, trauma prevention coordinator for UC Davis Health. “Car seat policies also differ by state, making it confusing even for those moving within the U.S. Our goals are to make it easy for parents in our region to understand why car seats are important and how to use them properly.”

The classes are held at the food bank, close to where low-income, immigrant and refugee families come for clothing, food, social and legal services. Community educator Misael Chavarin presents current requirements and demonstrates how to use car seats as children grow from infancy to age 8 or a height of 4’9”, when most can just use seat belts. A grant from Kohl’s covers the costs of a car seat.

“We are committed to keeping kids safe and away from the emergency room,” said Chavarin. “Our partnerships and expertise together help ensure that no one is left out of those commitments.”

The UC Davis Health Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program decreases preventable deaths and injuries through education, research and outreach. Partnerships with government agencies, law enforcement, service organizations and corporations help extend those efforts throughout the community. For information, visit the program website.