New Ordinance Expands Education and Safety Check Program
[COLUMBUS, OH] Infant seats, child seats, booster seats…rear facing, front facing, seat belts, tension, size, location, location, location…do you know the nuances of car seat safety?
Columbus Public Health (CPH) and Columbus City Council are teaming up to expand the Car Seat Check Program so more families will be able to protect their children on the roadways.
“Engineers are working hard to make sure car and booster seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. We want to make sure parents know how to use and install them correctly,” said Columbus City Councilmember Michael Stinziano. “Expanding the program will help more parents and caregivers safely transport their children every time they get into a car.”
The new ordinance will provide 11 car seat classes (up from 8), increase the number of monthly Fitting Station events from 2 to 8 and expand the Community Car Seat Check-ups to include special events such as festivals and health fairs.
“In Franklin County on average, 9 out of 10 car seats are not installed correctly, so children are at risk for injury and even death,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Teresa Long, MD. “We are grateful to Columbus City Council for partnering with us to expand the Car Seat Program so we can reach and protect more families in our community.”
Fitting Stations are sites that are open regularly to teach parents and caregivers how to safely transport children. Families can make appointments with a certified technician during designated Fitting Station hours. Car seat installation assistance is available to anyone in Franklin County and does not have any income eligibility requirements. AAA Auto Club of Ohio is a sponsor of the program.
Columbus Public Health’s Car Seat Program also provides car and booster seats at a reduced cost to families in need. Families must complete the CPH car seat class. Participants will then have the opportunity to purchase convertible car seats and booster seats based on income eligibility.
Road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children in the United States. Of those children ages 8 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2014, 26% were not restrained by an age-appropriate device such as an infant seat, booster seat or seat belt. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.
For more information, visit Columbus Public Health at publichealth.columbus.gov or on Facebook/Twitter.