Thanks to a grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program, the Dade County Health Department will provide free car-and-booster seats as well as safety education and installation instructions to financially eligible families.
“This program helps families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time,” said Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District Health Director Unini Odama, M.D., “and protect them from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”
The program, which is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, has been in place since 2007 and has saved more than 300 Georgia children who were involved in crashes. Georgia law requires that children 8 years old or younger must use a car-or-booster seat in most cases.
“We’re excited that this grant allows us to work with our community partner, Dade County Sheriff’s Office, to keep children safe,” Dade County Health Department Nurse Manager Tammy Franklin said. “Children in our county will be safer riding in motor vehicles, especially if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident.”
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 1 to four4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash and 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.
Families interested in finding out if they are eligible to receive a car-or-booster seat and when classes are scheduled are encouraged to contact the Dade County Health Department to find out how to apply. The Health Department, 71 Case Avenue, Suite 100, Trenton, may be reached at (706) 657-4213 or on the web at www.nwgapublichealth.org/counties/dade.