Schley Health Department receives grant

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ELLAVILLE — The Schley County Health Department was recently awarded the 2016 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Since first obtaining the grant seven years ago, over 650 car seats have been distributed to Medicaid Eligible children in Schley County.
“It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe,” said Kristy Smith, Schley County nurse manager. “The Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help us protect our kids from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”
Most people are not aware that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of childhood injury and death. When properly installed and properly used, car seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent in infants and 54 percent in toddlers. Although most people think they use their car seats correctly, actual car seat inspections show that 80 percent to 90 percent are used incorrectly.
The program provides two types of car seats: Convertibles for infants and High Back Boosters for children ages four and older. All seats provided through the program have a special “Teddy Bear” label that law enforcement officers look for if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Information from the car seat is entered into a national database that monitors child safety and provides a new car seat for the child.
A new law that took effect July 1, 2011, requires all children to remain in a booster seat until they are 8 years of age or reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches tall. No child should ride in the front seat until they are 13 years old. The back seat is the safest place for children.
The February CPS training was held on Feb. 12 at the Ellaville City Center. Eight parents were trained. Seven Convertible Car Seats and one High Back Car Seat were distributed.  Krystal Heath, coordinator, Sumter County Family Connection, assisted with the training.
If you would like to apply for a free car seat, call Schley Co. Family Connection at 937-5334. Classes are held monthly and last approximately two hours. The child must live in Schley County and be Medicaid eligible to qualify. Free safety inspections are available to anyone on an appointment basis.