Alto police awarded state car seat grant

(Hadley Cottingham/Now Habersham)

The Alto Police Department has been awarded a car seat mini-grant to provide car seats to families facing financial difficulty.

Through the mini-grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program, Banks County Emergency Management and the Alto Police Department will work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Banks County.

“It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe,” said Alto Police Chief Josh Ivey. “The car seat mini-grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”

The program, funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, was created to make sure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in cars. They awarded the Georgia DPH a total of $2,066,100 to provide technical assistance and resources to first responders statewide, develop community support for motor vehicle safety programs, support data linkages and help evaluate program efforts.

“This unique partnership between highway safety and public health helps promote a safer Georgia,” Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said in a press release. “This programmatic support has made a difference and continues to save lives and prevent injuries.”

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 cars. They say that 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.

The Georgia DPH reports that since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the mini-grant have prevented serious injury or death and saved 385 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes.

$1,257,375 of that funding has been allocated to the DPH Injury Prevention Program’s Child Occupant Safety Project, which provides car seats and education through the car seat mini-grant program. The program assists more than 130 counties state-wide.

Banks County Emergency Management and the Alto Police Department will educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families through the program.

For more information about the Banks car seat program, contact the Alto Police Department at 706-778-8028.

If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at iniury@dph.qa.qov or by calling 404-463-1487.

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