Nearly 2,000 Free Child Car Seats Available for Low-Income Families

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Photo by Peter Kuiper, via Wikipedia

Jan 12, 2016 (COUNTY NEWS SERVICE)  Safe.That is how the County wants children to be whenever they are riding in a car.

To that end, the County Health and Human Services Agency will be giving 1,925 child car seats to low-income families.

The child car seats will be distributed among low-income parents thanks to a $240,505 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for the Keep ‘Em Safe program. The free seats will be given out through Sept. 2016.

“The campaign’s goal is to increase the proper use of child safety seats, the use of seat belts, and to educate parents about vehicle safety,” said Chairman Ron Roberts, County Board of Supervisors. “This program is a valuable investment to help keep children safe when they are being driven on the road.”

In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children.

In 2013, 638 children ages 12 years and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 127,250 were injured.

Car seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children ages 4 through 8 years. Between 1975 and 2013, child restraints saved an estimated 10,421 children ages 4 and younger.

The Keep ‘Em Safe program, will fund an education campaign, including presentations on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system for children of all ages.

This is the sixth year the County has received funding from the Office of Traffic Safety for the Keep ‘Em Safe program. Last year, 2,060 child car seats were distributed throughout the region. Locally, Keep ‘Em Safe will include passenger safety education classes to social workers, public health nurses, community outreach workers, and public safety workers to improve safety in the community.

The Keep ‘Em Safe program supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision to improve the health and safety of children and families in the region.

For more information about the Keep ‘Em Safe program, contact the Pacific Safety Center at858-621-2313 ext. 114 or 855-4-PSC-411 (toll-free).

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