Health department to provide child car seats

Published 7:15 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

Financially eligible families can get free child passenger safety seats from the Decatur County Health Department, thanks to a mini-grant from the Injury Prevention Program of the Georgia Department of Community Health Division of Emergency Preparedness.

“The car seat mini-grant program is a wonderful opportunity to help reduce the number of child deaths from crashes,” said Decatur County Health Department Director Sherry Hutchins. “Along with providing car seats, our staff will educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use them.”

Car seats reduce fatal injuries in passenger cars by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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“Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a wreck, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly,” Hutchins said. “Unfortunately, three out of every four car seats are not properly used, which reduces their effectiveness.”

The health department also offers car seat inspections to help ensure children receive full protection.

“We want to help families and caregivers buckle up children correctly for every trip, every time,” said Hutchins.

Decatur is one of 128 counties participating in the mini-grant program, which is funded through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Nine counties in the 14-county Southwest Health District are taking part in the program.

For more information about the car seat program, contact Becky Sara Renae Hester at 248-3055.