BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Health Department, along with other county health departments across north Georgia, has been awarded 2018 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program, according to Jennifer King, public information officer for the North Georgia Health District.
The purpose of the grant is to enable county health departments to provide financially eligible families with car seats and education on proper use.
“This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles,” King said in a press release. “Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. In Georgia alone, an estimated 344 children involved in crashes have been saved from serious injury or death since 2007 from the use of the proper use car seats or booster seats provided through the mini-grant, King added.
“The Car Seat Mini-Grant helps us meet the responsibility of keeping our children safe here in North Georgia,” Marie Smith, nursing director for the North Georgia Health District, said. “It provides us the opportunity to work with partners in each of our communities to help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”
Over 130 counties across Georgia benefited from the Car Seat Mini-Grant. For the counties receiving the mini-grant, the respective health departments of those counties along with partnering agencies offer education to parents on proper installation and use of car seats and booster seats.
“Each county health department receives up to six convertible car seats and four high-back booster seats to have on stock each month to supply to eligible families,” King explained, “so, as the seats are given away, the health department can order more seats to maintain their monthly inventory. Health department staff demonstrates proper installation of the seats when they provide them to the families. They also do free car seat checks for people who already have child car seats to make sure the seats are appropriately safe and are properly installed.”