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County Public Health Effort Highlights Car Seat Safety
Turlock Police Officer Mike Simbalenko explains how to properly fit car seat safety straps around a small child in a car seat during a free installation appointment at the police department. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL/209 Health & Wellness

San Joaquin County Public Health Services announced earlier this month that they have been awarded a $90,000 grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to fund programs that educate parents and guardians on child passenger safety. The grant is for a one-year period that runs through Sept. 30, 2020.

Grant funding will be used for a variety of activities to promote the proper use of child safety seats including: car seat checkup events and one-on-one appointments to inspect car seats; child safety seat education classes informing parents on using and properly installing the right car seat based on a child’s height and weight; Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) training, and CPST certification courses; surveys on car and booster seat compliance rates; and, community events and fairs to increase awareness about child passenger safety.

“Children should be as safe as possible when traveling in a car,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Funding for child passenger safety education and training allows our partners to make sure children are in the right car seat that is being used correctly.”

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children 13 and under. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46 percent of car seats are not used properly.

“If you’re not sure your car seat is installed correctly, or if you have questions about what kind of seat is right for your child, Public Health Services has bi-lingual NHTSA-certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can help,” advised Dr. Kismet Baldwin, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer.

Car seat check-up appointments can be scheduled by calling 209-468-8914.

Funding for this child passenger safety program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.