As part of its mission as a community hospital, Tucson Medical Center organizes family safety events throughout Southern Arizona and helps fill gaps in areas that affect children's safety.
Whether it is at Vail Pride Day, Marana Founder's Day, the Boys & Girls Club, C.A.R.E. Fair or many, many schools, TMC Desert Safety Kids program provides safety information, bicycle helmets, booster seats, child fingerprinting and a host of safety and health information to kids in the community.
"Even though we can treat you at Southern Arizona's first Children's Emergency Center, we would rather keep children and families safe in the first place," said Hope Thomas, manager, TMC Desert Kids Safety program. "As a community hospital, we want to reach out to families and give them the tools and information they need to keep safe."
Recognizing a gap in Arizona, which has no legal requirement for toddlers to use booster safety seats, TMC Desert Kids Safety joined with Kohl's Cares for Kids® to address this dangerous situation. The Boost Your Booty program uses a fun, colorful multimedia approach to reach out to kids and their families. Since 2006, TMC has distributed more than 4,200 booster seats for kids in Southern Arizona.
"Booster seats are underutilized because, first, there is no legal requirement to use one, and secondly, parents may not be educated about the benefits of using a booster seat," said Thomas, adding that many children are at risk from the use of seat belts alone, which are not effective for children who weigh less than 80 pounds.