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10,000 Bay Area Children Safely Home

Dynamic Duo helps thousands of Bay Area newborns go home safely

Prior to hospital fitting, '90% of car seats are not installed properly'

STANFORD, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- When Community Services Manager Nancy Sanchez heard that Benjamin Arias and Salvador Vargas had recently installed their record-setting 10,000th car seat, she had a very simple response: "That's why they're called the dynamic duo."


Sort of like Batman and Robin, minus the cool suits. But instead of swooping in to ensure the safety of Gotham, these two superheroes are ensuring the safety of newborns and young children. And is there anything more heroic than that? "Probably not," said Sanchez, "especially when you consider that 90% of all car seats are not installed properly prior to fitting."

The need for safety never lets up. That's why Ben and Sal run the Maggie Adalyn Otto Safely Home Car Seat Fitting Station at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital seven days a week. "Families are thrilled to have this free service," said Ben. "They realize car seats may look simple, but they're not." Ben and Sal show families not just the proper way to install a car seat but also the ins and outs of child restraints, how to get the straps right, and even how to properly place their child in the seat.

Then there's the endless maze of laws, recalls and defects that Ben and Sal are wired into. "We also communicate to parents that not all car seats are compatible with every vehicle and that written instructions from a manufacturer can be confusing," said Sal. The team encourages expectant parents to have a baby's car seat checked at least one month before the baby is due. "That way we know they'll have a safe ride home from the hospital," said Ben. And if the intricacies of all the straps and clips become a little overwhelming down the road? "It's cool for families to stop by for a little refresher," said Sal. "We also recommend families come see us when their kids are transitioning from infant to child seats and even boosters."

Hitting 10,000 is certainly an untouchable milestone, especially since Packard Children's is the only hospital in the Bay Area to offer the service. As new dad Richard Ikegami explained, "My family really appreciates this program. We got all the information we needed, from safety to expiration to what type of seat to buy, even the latest ratings. It was everything we could want to know."

Meanwhile, Ben is firing up his Excel spreadsheet to count the next 10K, and telling everyone why he loves taking his job home with him every day. "I'm a first-time dad with 6-month-old Mateo," said Ben proudly. "Now I know how all those excited new parents feel. I want my little boy riding safely, and I can't think of anything more important."

    Todd Kleinheinz

The Maggie Adalyn Otto Safely Home Car Seat Fitting Station at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is seven days a week. More information can be found at or by calling (650) 736-2981 for an appointment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site also has information at

About Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Ranked as one of the nation's best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford is a 272-bed hospital devoted to the care of children and expectant mothers. Providing pediatric and obstetric medical and surgical services and associated with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Packard Children's offers patients locally, regionally and nationally the full range of health care programs and services, from preventive and routine care to the diagnosis and treatment of serious illness and injury. For more information, visit

SOURCE Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
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