ARTESIA, NM-The New Mexico Department of Transportation, Safer New Mexico Now and the Frank W. Yates Jr. Family Foundation recently hosted the Cy Palmer Inaugural Car Seat Clinic in Artesia. The clinic was held in celebration of the life and remembrance of Cy Palmer, a 7-year-old who tragically lost his life as the result of a motor vehicle crash on November 15, 2017. Although Palmer was wearing his seat belt, he was not using a booster seat, which ensures the seat belt fits correctly and the passenger is properly restrained in the event of a crash.
During the inaugural event, parents and caregivers received personalized hands-on instruction from nationally-certified child passenger safety technicians. Technicians helped educate parents on the proper selection, installation, and use of car seats and booster seats. A total of 20 car seats were checked, 15 of which were improperly installed. Additionally, Safer distributed two replacement car seats to replace unsafe seats.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that using car seats decreases the risk of death by an estimated 71% for infants and 54% for older children. According to NHTSA, when a car, truck, or van suddenly stops in a crash, everyone and everything inside keeps moving. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts help manage that energy so our bodies don’t need to. New Mexico state law states that all occupants must be properly restrained in all seating positions. For each child riding in your vehicle, be sure you are using the correct child safety seat. Any restraint device must meet federal standards and must be appropriate for the age and size of the child.
Car seat clinics are a public service funded by the NMDOT and are available to everyone. The Cy Palmer Clinic will be held annually in Artesia to honor Palmer’s birthday. For more information about the Cy Palmer Memorial Clinic, or to make an appointment to have your car seat inspected, please call (800) 231-6145 or visit www.safernm.org.