Ages and stages of car seat safety

By Carolyn Muller
Community Health Improvement Specialist at LRGHealthcare
Certified Car Seat Safety Technician

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car seats on the market, many parents find this overwhelming.

The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child's age and size and the type of vehicle you have. One of the best things you can do is to keep track of the different stages that children fall into regarding car seats.

• Rear-facing car seat: Birth up to age 2
Infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their seat. Check the seat's owner's manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits. A rear facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body. If you are worried about squished legs, no need! It is completely fine for their feet to touch the seat back or for their legs to bend.
• Forward-facing car seat: Age 2 up to at least age 5
When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their seat.
• Booster seat: Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly
Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat by reaching the upper height or weight limit of their seat, they should be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt lays across the chest, not the neck. In New Hampshire, the state law requires that children ride in an appropriate child safety seat until they are 7 years old or 57 inches tall, whichever is reached first.

• Seat belt: Once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat
Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt lays across the chest, not the neck. For the best possible protection, keep children properly buckled in the back seat.

Even once we are through all the stages of car seats, there are still a couple things we can do to keep our children protected in the car. All children under the age of 13 should be buckled in the back seat. Airbags can kill children riding in the front seat. Also, all parents should set a good example by always using their seat belt.

Looking for help? If you would like assistance in learning how to install a child seat or want help determining which seat your child (or grandchild) should be in, give us a call at 527-7120. LRGHealthcare has two certified car seat technicians available for free appointments.

Granite Health partnership promotes '5 Signs of Suffering' campaign

CONCORD — On Monday, Granite Health and its partnership of five of the largest community-based health systems in New Hampshire, including Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, announced their joint support for the Change Direction New Hampshire Campaign, which aims to change the culture around mental health in America by increasing awareness of the issue and sharing the campaign's "5 Signs of Suffering."

Travis Harker, chief medical officer at Granite Health, leads a group of clinical leaders within the five health systems to improve population health and embrace innovative solutions for the delivery of care. "Through our clinical initiative for screening and treating patients with depression, we will work to integrate the 5 Signs of Suffering as part of a broader effort to help identify, treat, and raise awareness of patients with emotional suffering," said Harker.

Further, Granite Health pledges to keep mental health and emotional suffering at the forefront of their efforts to improve the care of patients in their communities. Rachel Rowe, chief executive officer at Granite Health, adds, "Mental health is a critical issue for many in our communities and just as we look for the symptoms of stroke or heart attack it is important for people to know and understand the 5 Signs of Suffering."

Over the next year, Granite Health will work with its member organizations to share the campaign's 5 Signs of Suffering with 300,000 people in New Hampshire through their depression screening clinical initiative, social media, and community newsletters.

NH oral health report shows disparities between north, south

CONCORD — New Hampshire is meeting many goals in serving the oral health needs of residents yet disparities continue to exist, according to a new report from the NH Department of Health and Human Services. New Hampshire Oral Health Data 2015 provides much needed data on the burden of oral health disease in New Hampshire, the risk and protective factors, and the capacity that exists to meet the state's oral health needs. The report was last issued in 2010.

Overall, oral health is improving in New Hampshire. For example, between the school years ending in 2001 and 2014, the proportion of New Hampshire's third grade students with sealants, which prevent bacteria from causing cavities, also known as caries, increased by 33 percent; during that same period, the rate of cavities experience among New Hampshire third graders decreased by 32 percent, and the rate of untreated cavities decreased by 62 percent. While the rate of cavities among third graders in New Hampshire was 35 percent in 2014, some segments of the population carried a higher burden of disease. Among students in schools where more than half of the population received free and reduced-price lunch, the rate was 53 percent; and in the northern part of the state, in Coos County, the rate was as high as 56 percent.

"New Hampshire is doing well to address the oral health needs of residents, but geographic and socioeconomic disparities still exist," said Marcella Bobinsky, acting director of Public Health, "The data included in the report, and the disparities that are highlighted by the data, make it clear that we have more work to do to ensure that all residents have access to preventive care and to improve oral health throughout the state."

New Hampshire has achieved or surpassed many of the targets set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy People 2020 oral health objectives. However, residents in the northern part of the state experience higher rates of dental disease, lower rates of preventive services, and a shortage of dental health professionals. Statewide, residents with lower income and/or lower educational attainment are less likely to access dental care and are more likely to experience adverse outcomes such as tooth loss. The rate of complete tooth loss among all New Hampshire adults 65 and above is 12 percent, while the rate in Coos County is 25 percent and the rate for seniors statewide earning less than $15,000 per year is 35 percent.

To read the entire report, visit the NH Department of Health and Human Services page at For more information about the DHHS Oral Health Program, visit

Golden View announces promotions to fill positions of CEO, administrator

MEREDITH — Rosemary Simino has been appointed administrator at Golden View Health Care Center, a non-profit senior care community located in Meredith. Simino is now responsible for day-to-day operations, assuring Golden View's continued high quality ratings by government and private agencies. She will succeed Jeanne Sanders, who has been the administrator since 1977. Sanders will continue as chief executive officer at Golden View. Sanders stated, "We are pleased that Rosemary is part of our senior leadership team, and this recent promotion further demonstrates our confidence in Rosemary and our commitment to the residents and families we serve, as well as, our employees."
Simino joined Golden View Health Care Center in 1998 as the assistant administrator and director of quality assurance after obtaining her New Hampshire Nursing Home Administrator's license in 1996. She has served on the New Hampshire Health Care Association's Survey and Quality Committee since 1996 and is currently the co-chair. She has been actively involved in the American Health Care Association's Quality Award Program since 2003. "I am delighted with this new responsibility," said Rosemary, "and am looking forward to further contributing here at Golden View, as well as, in the broader New Hampshire health care community."

Golden View Health Care Center has been providing health care services to the community since 1974. Golden View offers a full range of services, including short stay rehabilitation, or transitional care, assisted living, long term skilled care, care for persons with Alzheimer's and related disorders as well as respite care.



 05 23 Golden View Administrator

Golden View Health Care Center announced the promotion of Jeanne Sanders, at left, to the position of chief executive officer, and Rosemary Simino to administrator. (Courtesy photo)