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.