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Center for Childhood Safety

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Helping Families Keep Children Safe

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. These tragic accidents may appear to be outside our control, however, they tend to follow predictable patterns--and are often preventable.

The Center for Childhood Safety at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is committed to preventing serious and fatal injuries by providing education and resources both to the hospital and the community. Our child safety services, available in Pierce and South King counties, include:

  • Car seat program
  • Community education
  • Helmet fittings
  • Life jackets for loan
  • Safe Kids coalition

Car Seat Program

Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of fatal injury for children and adolescents. Mary Bridge can ensure that your family is using child car safety seats and seat belts correctly to help prevent and limit injury in a crash.

We have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on staff to answer questions including:

  • How do I choose the right car safety seat for my child?
  • Where can I get help installing it in my car correctly?
  • How long does Washington law require that my child ride in a booster or sit in the back seat?
  • Where can I purchase a car safety seat?

We offer free car seat safety inspections at the following times and locations:

  • In Tacoma at Mary's Bridge's Safe and Sound Building every Tuesday from 9 to 10am. No appointment is necessary.
  • In Puyallup at the Children's Therapy Unit at Good Samaritan Hospital. By appointment only.
  • In Auburn at the MultiCare Auburn Urgent Care, 202 Cross Street SE. First Wednesday of the month, by appointment only.

To ask questions about car seat safety or schedule an appointment, call the car seat helpline at 253-403-1417.

Community Education

We have education materials and resources on childhood injury prevention for your community groups, events and schools. Call our Tacoma office at 253-403-1234 to:

  • Schedule a booster seat presentation for your pre-K, kindergarten or first grade class
  • Reserve a “Water Wise Kids Kit,” our preschool water safety curriculum
  • Borrow a display board with injury prevention messages for an event
  • Pick up education materials to distribute at your event

Helmet Fittings

Children participate in a variety of wheeled sports including biking, skateboarding, scootering, wheeling and roller/inline skating. They are a great way to stay active and have fun, but they are also a significant cause of injury-related hospital stays for Washington children.

Wearing a properly fitted helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. For a free helmet fitting appointment, call 253-403-1234.

We can also provide a list of local fire departments and hospitals that offer low-cost, custom-fitted helmets for sale.

Life Jackets for Loan

Drowning is another leading cause of fatal injury in Washington. Drownings occur primarily in open water such as lakes, rivers, Puget Sound or the ocean. Ninety percent of those who drown were not wearing life jackets.

Mary Bridge and other locations offer free loaner life jackets for short-term use on a year-round basis. For more information, call 253-403-1234.


Safe Kids Coalition

Safe Kids Worldwide is the first national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of accidental childhood injuries. Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center is proud to be involved with the Safe Kids coalitionc in Pierce County.

Members of local Safe Kids coalitions represent a wide variety of community organizations such as fire departments, law enforcement departments, education programs and schools, health care organizations, local health departments, human service organizations and other community members.

Safe Kids members provide prevention programs and services, such as child passenger safety, helmet safety, water safety, pedestrian safety and fire safety. Recent projects coordinated by local Safe Kids coalitions include car seat inspections, booster seat distribution programs, low cost helmet and life jacket sales, life jacket loaner stations and International Walk to School Day events.

For more information:

  • Safe Kids Pierce County 253-403-KIDS (event line)

KidsHealth Library

Visit our KidsHealth Library to learn about everything from common childhood ailments to managing complex chronic diseases.

KidsHealth Library