Physicians provide safe rides home for New Year’s babies across the province

Physicians provide safe rides home for New Year’s babies across the province

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) has once again donated new car seats to the families of Newfoundland and Labrador’s New Year’s babies – the first babies born in 2020 – at each of the 10 hospitals performing routine deliveries across the province.

NLMA Past-President Dr. Tracey Bridger presented a car seat to new parents Sabrina Roberts and Chris Bishop following the birth of their daughter, Kalina Bishop. Kalina was the first baby born in the province in 2020, arriving at 5:57 a.m. on January 1 at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s. At birth, she weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces.

Dr. Bridger said the NLMA’s car seat program’s intent is to encourage all parents to use approved car seats from the moment they leave the hospital with their newborns. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the NLMA has presented more than 370 car seats to families across Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Safety is so important when it comes to caring for your children, and the only safe way to keep them protected in cars is with infant carriers, child seats and booster seats,” said Dr. Bridger.

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children over a year old in Canada. The Canadian Paediatric Society estimates that between 44 per cent of car seats and 81 per cent of booster seats are not used correctly, putting children at risk for increased injury.
The top three errors (CPS, 2008):

  • Seat not tightly secured to the vehicle (moves more than 2.5 cm [1 inch] in any direction);
  • Harness not snug (more than one finger width fits between the harness strap and the child); and,
  • Chest clip not at armpit level.

When a child is restrained properly in a car seat or a booster seat that is appropriate to their height and weight, the risk of fatal injury is reduced by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent. The safest place for any child under 12 years of age is in the back seat of the vehicle, away from dangers like front-on collisions and front-seat airbags. Parents can learn more about the proper use of motor vehicle restraints for children at

PHOTO: Dr. Tracey Bridger (left) presents a car seat to new parents Chris Bishop and Sabrina Roberts following the birth of their daughter, Kalina.