FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2023
Contact: Natalie Shelton
Local Health Departments Awarded Car-Seat Mini-Grants
Limited Free Car Seats Available in Butts, Carroll, Fayette, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup and Upson Counties
LaGrange, GA — Nine county health departments in District 4 Public Health are now equipped to provide a limited number of free car seats and safety training to financially eligible families through a 2023 state Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant.
Butts, Carroll, Fayette, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup and Upson counties are among 108 counties in Georgia to receive the grant from the Child Occupant Safety Project of the Georgia Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Program.
With the funding, each health department can provide up to eight car seats or booster seats each month to the first eligible families who qualify, are in need of a car seat, and also attend a short safety training session.
Families already enrolled in WIC, Medicaid (which includes the Medicaid CMOs), or PeachCare are automatically eligible to attend the training and receive a car seat or booster seat as long as the health department has not already given out its limit of seats that month. For those not enrolled in WIC, Medicaid, or PeachCare, eligibility will be based on specified financial guidelines. Children in foster care would not be eligible for the program because other resources are already in place for them.
Interested families should contact the car-seat coordinator at their county health department to see if they qualify and check on car-seat availability for that month.
“We want to do everything we can to help families keep their children safe,” said Amy Fenn, District 4’s director of nursing. “The Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”
The car-seat safety program at the health department is not just limited to families in need of a car seat. Health department car-seat coordinators are available to assist anyone—regardless of income level—in making sure a child’s car seat is installed properly.
“It doesn’t matter if you qualify for a free car seat or not; we want to help you even if you’ve already purchased or received a car seat and just need assurance you’re installing it the right way,” Fenn said. “It’s a completely free service, and it is gratifying for us to share the small ways that proper car-seat installation can make a huge difference in helping keep your child safe.”
The program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles. Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the grant to health departments and other community partners have prevented serious injury or death and have saved over 425 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 1 to 4 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. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.
For more information on the child Occupant Safety Project, please contact the email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (404) 463-1487.
Those interested in the free car-seat program, and/or in scheduling an appointment for a free car-seat safety check and installation, please call the car-seat safety coordinator at your county health department:
(706) 672-4974, ext. 6
(770) 567-8972, option 0