Sumter Health Department awarded Car Seat Mini Grant partnering with Sumter County Family Connection

Published 1:00 pm Friday, February 19, 2016

ATLANTA — The Sumter County Health Department was awarded the 2016 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, Sumter County Health Department and Sumter County Family Connection Collaborative (SCFC) work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Sumter County. This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles.
And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved at least 303 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.
“It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe,” said Elaine Larkin, SCFC board chair. “The Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help protect our kids from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”
Luneda Brown, Sumter County Health Department nurse manager, shared information about past years success with the car seat program and a continued need to provide safety seats to our families in need.
“We value the partnership with our Sumter County Family Connections Collaborative in taking a valuable role in this process of protecting the lives of our children,” she said. “Training and education about car safety seats is the most important aspect of this program. We look forward to working closely with our Family Connections Collaborative as we protect the lives of our children together in Sumter County.”
In Sumter County, the Sumter County Health Department and Family Connection educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offers car seat inspections and provides car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.
For more information about the Sumter County Family Connection car seat program, call Krystal Heath, executive director, at 229-591-1997.
“Individuals have to be eligible through the local WIC office,” said Heath. “I will contact them according to their placement on the list.”
For information regarding other counties involved in the program, contact the Ga Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at or at 404-679-0500.