Recently, Patricia Manchester, of Baton Rouge, was involved in a serious crash on Interstate 10 in New Orleans, where her car was totaled. Thankfully, Patricia’s 13-month-old daughter wasn’t injured in the crash because she was properly restrained in a child safety seat. Just a few weeks before the crash, Patricia received the child safety seat for no charge through the Sonic Tot Calendar Program.

That seat literally saved the life of her young daughter.

The Sonic Tot Calendar Program has given away more than 1,800 child safety seats throughout Louisiana in the past two years. In a partnership with University Medical Center New Orleans, Sonic Drive-in restaurants fund the program through sales of the Tot calendar for $5. All proceeds go toward buying and properly installing the child safety seats for eligible families.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and its partners support these types of programs to provide safety seats for families. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death among infants and toddlers.

The Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force, a network of certified child passenger safety technicians led by University Medical Center New Orleans, urges all parents to make sure their children travel in the appropriate seat for the child’s age, weight and height, and that the seat is correctly installed.

We also invite parents to visit www.lahighwaysafety.org for more information about correctly installed safety seats. Parents also can contact the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force at UMC (504) 702-2296 to arrange a free safety-seat inspection performed by a certified technician.

Katara Williams

executive director, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

Baton Rouge