Colquitt County Health Department child health coordinator touts car seat program
MOULTRIE—Colquitt County Health Department and community partner Georgia State Patrol offer education, classes and free child car safety seats to financially eligible families in Colquitt County through the 2017 Car Seat Mini Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program.
“We want to make sure the public is aware of this community resource,” said Colquitt County Health Department Child Health Coordinator Lacey Herndon, RN, who recently became a certified child passenger safety technician. She and GSP trooper Russ Covington, also certified as a child passenger safety technician, teach car seat safety classes at the health department.
“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,” Herndon said. “It has an impressive track record.”
Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved over 300 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages one to four years in passenger cars.
“Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly,” Herndon said. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk, she said.
To learn more about the program, or to sign up for classes, contact the Colquitt County Health Department at 229-589-8464.
Herndon also urged parents and caregivers to take time now to prepare for vacation road trips. “The summer is when child passenger safety practices need to be reviewed and reinforced to ensure all passengers arrive safely,” she said. Her recommendations include:
• Buckle up, every trip, every time.
• Children under 13 should ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
• Install car and booster seats properly.
• Check that car seat is securely installed before each trip.
• Never leave children unattended in or around vehicles.
• Lock vehicles so children do not play inside or get trapped inside.