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January 2, 2015 (San Diego)--If you are low-income and need a child car seat, the County has one for you.

A total of 1,944 child car seats will be distributed among low-income parents thanks to a $245,500 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The free seats will be given out through September 2015.

“The County is committed to doing all it can to keep children safe,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, County Board of Supervisors. “This program helps low-income parents safeguard their children from injuries and death.”

Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 1-19 in the United States. Most motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries are preventable. Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that 284 children ages 5 and under were saved in 2012 thanks to being restrained while riding in a car.

The grant, part of OTS’ Keep ‘Em Safe program through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will also fund an education campaign, including presentations on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system for children of all ages. The goal of the campaign is to increase the proper use of child car seats and seat belt use, and to educate parents about vehicle safety, including information on air bags and the dangers of leaving children alone in the car.

This is the fifth year the County has received funding through the Keep ‘Em Safe program. Last year, 2,155 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.

“For low-income families, the cost of expensive safety equipment can be a hardship, especially in households with two or more children,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency  “The Keep ‘Em Safe Program works closely with community-based organizations to promote traffic safety programs in underserved communities, such as refugees, Native Americans and the military.”

The Keep ‘Em Safe program supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative 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 at (888) 846-4200.


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The trouble with that argument

Is two-fold. One, it assumes that birth control is 100% efficient. It isn't. Even the pill has a small failure rate and some other methods have much higher rates of failure. Do you want women to abort those "oops" babies instead? Second, women's circumstances often change after they become pregnant. A Mom-to-be may have had good reason to think she COULD support the baby when she got pregnant. But what if she or her husband lost her job after that, or someone in the family had a major illness or accident, or some other unexpected thing happened - car transmission fails, hours get cut back at work, roof starts leaking, etc? I've personally known women in these sorts of circumstances. Your argument is just out of touch with reality for many famlies, though of course it makes sense to postpone childbearing if your financial situation is truly dire. I personally am fine with having some small portion of our tax dollars go to make sure babies are safe, if their parents are in dire circumstances, rather than have the babies get hurt or killed in accidents. Besides being compassionate, treating even one baby for severe injuries would cost the system far more than buying car seats for many. Sort of like buying fire communications equipment - if it stops one wildfire, it was a great investment.

Here is a crazy idea

If you can't afford to take care of your children DON'T HAVE THEM!