St. Johns, Newfoundland – The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Assocation (NLMA) will present an infant car seat to the first baby born in 2009 in each of the province’s 12 hospitals that perform deliveries. The physicians of NLMA have been providing safe rides home for newborns at hospitals around the province for more than 20 years.

NLMA president Dr. Elizabeth Callahan said that intent of the program is to encourage all parents to use approved car seats for their children, right from the moment they leave hospital as newborns. To date, more than 260 car seats have been presented.

“The proper use of child safety seats, from the first ride home from the hospital until the child is big enough to use a regular seatbelt, has been proven to be one of the most successful safety innovations for motor vehicles,” Dr. Callahan said. “The only safe way to keep small children protected in cars is with infant carriers, child seats, and booster seats.”

Every year, more than 70 children are seriously injured in the province. In 2005, the NLMA called on the government to upgrade its child booster seat legislation. The government responded by amending recommendations to the Highway Traffic Act, and effective July 1, 2008, all children are required to be in a booster seat while they are being transported in a car, passenger truck, taxi, vehicles used by day cares, and school contract vehicles.

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