McIntosh County Seat Check Event Helps Protect Precious Cargo

June 30, 2015

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 2 to 14, and the leading cause of injury-related death for children younger than age 2.

Each year, an estimated 2,446 children die in motor vehicle crashes. Those are sobering statistics. But even more sobering is the fact that three out of four child car seats are installed incorrectly – car seats that are supposed to protect children in the event of an accident.

McIntosh County Health Department staff set out to improve some of those statistics in their county.

Utilizing grant funding from the Miller Family Fund, a component fund of the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, the health department held a free child car safety seat check event for local residents.

Health department staff, along with Georgia State Patrol Post 11 officers based in Hinesville, Georgia, checked car seats for proper installation, examined the seats for recalls and educated parents, parents-to-be and caregivers on the correct way children should be positioned in car seats.

“This was a great opportunity for us to educate our residents not only about the importance of using child car seats, but also about using them correctly,” said McIntosh County Health Department Nurse Manager Paige Lightsey, R.N.

The Health Department received funding earlier this year from the Communities of Coastal Georgia’s Miller Family Fund to educate families on the proper installation of car seats and general seatbelt safety. The funding allowed the health department to buy and issue car seats to families in need who attended the car seat check.

“We are very pleased to have been a participant in this most worthy project,” said Martin Miller who established the Miller Family Fund along with his wife, Laura Lynn Miller. “It is of utmost importance that we keep safe the children we love. We are most appreciative of the board and staff of the McIntosh County Health Department for their work in putting this project together."

When installed and used correctly, child car seats and seat belts can prevent injuries and save lives. In fact, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.

“Putting a child in a vehicle without a car seat is an unnecessary risk and we want to do everything we can to lessen that risk,” said Lightsey. “I believe holding this event and educating parents went a long way toward doing that. Hopefully we can have more events like this in the future.”

To learn more about safe car seat practices, visit www.safecar.gov, a website provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that guides parents and caregivers on how to properly select and install car seats.

Visit www.gachd.org for more information about McIntosh County’s public health initiatives. 

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