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Safe Kids Marion wins Graco grant, will hold car seat safety checkup event on Sept. 6

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

August 29, 2018


OCALA, Fla.—Local childhood injury prevention group Safe Kids Marion just received some good news that will help make a difference in the community. Car seat manufacturer Graco selected Safe Kids Marion as one of 55 recipients for its grant program. Graco awarded $1,000 and 48 car and booster seats through the grant for use in local car seat safety education efforts.

Safe Kids will use the funding to train more Marion professionals to become certified child passenger safety technicians (who can assess whether a car seat is properly installed) to enhance education outreach. The car seats will be distributed by community partners.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two out of three car seats are misused. Some of the common mistakes include not securing the seat into the vehicle, using the harness straps incorrectly and choosing the wrong seat for the child’s age, height and weight.

“Proper use of car seats saves lives and significantly reduces the risk of injury or death in the event of a crash,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Health Officer Mark Lander. “When a car seat is installed incorrectly, the child isn’t always secure and is at a greater risk for being injured or killed. Not using any car seat is also a major cause of injury or death in children.”

Safe Kids will host a drive-up car seat safety check on Sept. 6 at the Department of Health in Marion County as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure that children ride safely in vehicles. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the entrance to the department (1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala), certified child passenger safety technicians will check the installation of car or booster seats and adjust them as necessary. Parents and guardians will assist with the installation to learn for themselves how to use car seats to keep their children safe. If the car seat doesn’t meet state requirements, a car seat may be provided and installed while supplies last.

Safe Kids Marion is a coalition of community partners led by the Department of Health in Marion County. Other partner agencies include Ocala Fire Rescue, Marion County Public Schools, Kids Central, Marion County Children’s Alliance, Boys and Girls Club of Marion County, Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, Ocala/Marion County Transportation Planning Organization, Marion County Fire Rescue, Healthy Start of North Central Florida, and Safe Routes to School.