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Community Outreach

Low Income Programs

New Mexico Child Safety Seat Distribution Program

Safer administers the New Mexico Child Safety Seat Distribution Program (NMCSSDP) through a collaborative effort with the NMDOT, TSD. Through over 35 hospitals and healthcare clinics statewide, the NMCSSDP distributes child safety seats to low-income families and provides education and instruction on their use and installation. View a complete list of NMCSSDP providers or download a statewide Distribution Map.

For more information on the NMCSSDP, call (505) 332-7707 or e-mail info@safernm.org.



The New Mexico Child Safety Seat Distribution Program (NMCSSDP) is a program funded by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) Traffic Safety Division (TSD), and administered by Safer New Mexico Now (Safer).   Motor vehicle-related injuries remain the leading cause of death for children over one year of age.   Using child safety seats decreases the risk of death by an estimated 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for older children.   It has been shown that child safety seat distribution programs increase child safety seat use rates.   With 25% of children living below the poverty line in New Mexico, this program helps protect our most vulnerable population.  


The goal of the NMCSSDP is to increase access to child safety seats and provide education to low-income families. Currently, there are healthcare and social service agencies in approximately 39 sites statewide that participate in the NMCSSDP.    Various types of agencies participate in the NMCSSDP, including maternal child health centers, home health visitation programs, major hospitals throughout the State, family resource centers, Native American health centers and health centers that provide an array of services including medical, dental, behavioral health, and prevention services.   In addition, there are two abuse shelters in the program.  Since October 2003, more than 10,000 new child safety seats have been distributed through the program to low-income families.


Child safety seats are given to parents or caregivers of children who meet low-income requirements.   Distribution sites determine their agency-specific low-income requirements, however, many use Medicaid or New Mexi-Kids eligibility as a guide.    Most agencies collect $15.00 for each child safety seat distributed.   All of the earnings collected through this program are used to purchase additional child safety seats for the NMCSSDP.


Safer requires that all personnel participating in child safety seat distribution at each facility receive training.   A minimum of one staff member must attend the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standardized Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technical Training.   The curriculum is accredited through the Emergency Nurses Association, and nurses who complete the course are eligible to receive continuing education credits.  Other staff involved in the program must attend a six-hour training.  Safer team members and NHTSA-certified CPS instructors are available to provide ongoing technical and administrative assistance.  


Attendance at the annual Buckle Up New Mexico Conference is also required of all participating agencies.   This conference provides technical and program updates for all CPS advocates and technicians.  


Each child safety seat recipient must be educated on proper child safety seat use, including receiving oral instructions from trained staff, and viewing the DVD Simple Steps to Child Passenger Safety or Don’t Risk Your Child’s Life provided by Safer.   Each child safety seat recipient is also required to receive the Keeping Children Safer on New Mexico Roads: Laws, Choices, and Resources brochure.   Before receiving a child safety seat, the parent/caregiver must demonstrate knowledge of proper use of the child safety seat.   Any staff member who has attended the six-hour child safety training can provide this information.   The NHTSA-certified technician on staff assists with educating parents/caregivers and helps staff members with “best practice” issues.


For additional assistance with installation, distribution sites may refer parents/caregivers to local fitting stations.   Fitting stations offer parents and caregivers the opportunity to receive personal instruction from certified technicians on the proper selection and correct use of child safety seats.   Fitting stations offer appointments during regular hours of operation at a permanent location with a consistent point-of-contact.   Click here for a list of Fitting Station locations.


Administrative Forms & Instructions for Participating Agencies

Downloadable Forms:

Forms updated February 2010.

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