One-thousand free booster seats will be available to children 5 years and older as part of TMC’s “Boost Your Booty” campaign

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, from 9 a.m. - noon

WHERE: The following Tucson Police substations:

TPD South, Santa Cruz Substation - 4410 S. Park

TPD East, Rincon Substation - 9670 E. Golf Links

TPD Westside, Service Center - 1310 W. Miracle Mile

TPD Midtown, Hardesty Substation - 1100 S. Alvernon

WHAT: Caregivers who need a booster seat for a child are invited to a free booster seat distribution event this weekend at the above locations. Children must be present to receive a booster seat. Vehicles must have working lap and shoulder seat belts. Seats will be handed out on a first-come, first served basis until they run out.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injuries and death for children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Arizona recently passed a booster seat law which requires children ages 5 to 8 who are less than 4’9” in height be secured in a child passenger restraint system.

Since cars are designed for adults, seat belts typically won’t rest on children at the hard contact points along the hip bones, sternum and shoulders, explained TMC’s community outreach specialist Yomaira Diaz, who is an instructor-level child passenger safety seat technician and the Safe Kids Tucson coordinator. “To make the seat belts more comfortable, kids might slouch down into the seat, or they might put the seat belt under their arm, instead of over the shoulder. If they’re in an accident, they’ll fold over like a taco,” Diaz said. That might sound jarring, but she said she wants parents to have a visual picture, since the movement can cause whiplash or internal injuries.

The event is a partnership between Tucson Medical Center, Tucson Police Department, and Safe Kids Tucson.

Caregivers who are unable to attend the event this weekend can make arrangements to get a booster seat by calling the Desert Kids Safety Program at 324-5604.

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