DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 24, 2007 -- Child safety seats save lives -- when they're installed and used correctly. Too often, parents and caregivers are left scratching their heads over complicated installation instructions and are never quite sure whether their children are buckled in properly.

In an effort to address this issue, Ford Motor Company Fund is launching See Me Safe, a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) program in partnership with Nashville's Meharry Medical College. The program is being rolled out in three pilot cities. Detroit was first in November, with Dallas following this month and Nashville coming on board in January.

"By establishing a core network of health care providers, from physicians, to nurses, to pediatric trauma response teams, and by working directly with parents, Ford Motor Company Fund is taking strides to ensure auto safety for children," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, who attended the event,

See Me Safe connects parents and caregivers with CPS certified technicians for hands-on training. Not only do experienced technicians walk families through the process of installing their car seat and properly buckling their child in place, they provide participants with tip sheets, contact information for CPS trainers, and photographs of their buckled-up children to serve as a reminder of how their child looks when seated correctly. Literature is available in English and Spanish.

Another key aspect of the See Me Safe program focuses on the medical community, providing health care professionals such as pediatricians, nurses and ER personnel with specially designed reference tools. Ford is donating 150 car seats to medical partners in each pilot community to distribute as part of See Me Safe activities.

"This program is valuable to Detroit," said Shawn Levitt, chief operating officer, Children's Hospital of Michigan. "It not only extends Children's ongoing community child passenger safety education to parents, but also equips frontline health care providers with information to discuss with their patients and families."

To ensure the success of the See Me Safe program, Meharry is conducting pre- and post-event surveys to determine whether participants have increased their level of knowledge and whether their behaviors have changed as a result of the training.

"As the largest, private, comprehensive historically black institution for educating health professionals and scientists in the United States, Meharry Medical College is a perfect partner for this program," said Osei Mevs, associate vice president, External Affairs, Meharry Medical College. "See Me Safe focuses on narrowing the gap between what is and what can be in child passenger safety by helping parents and medical professionals learn about important life-saving measures."

See Me Safe builds on Ford's longstanding dedication to automotive safety programs, including the bilingual seat safety initiative Corazon de mi Vida aimed at the Latino community, as well as the teen-focused Driving Skills for Life.