The safety of some of Polk County’s youngest passengers is at the heart of a recent delivery to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s department of Polk Safe Kids group.

Officials announced that Polk Safe Kids received 24 new convertible car seats for free thanks to a grant through Safe Kids Georgia from BlackRock. The car seats will be distributed to Polk County families who need one following completion of an educational course for proper installation by the office’s trained car seat technicians.

The grant was approved after coalition coordinator Cpl. Rachel Haddix completed the documentation necessary and in a timely manner to receive this in-kind donation for Safe Kids Polk County. The value of the new car seats is approximately $1,850.

The Safe Kids Georgia Child Passenger Safety Micro Grant Program supported by BlackRock is geared toward keeping children from birth to 9 years old safe from preventable injuries on the road by providing education, resources and life-saving equipment to underserved and marginalized families and communities throughout the state.

Per CDC recommendations, distribution always occurs with education, which is provided by Safe Kids certified child passenger safety technicians.

Georgia state law requires child passengers to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight until the age of 8. Research shows car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% with infants and 54% with toddlers in passenger vehicles.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates a child under 13 was involved in a traffic crash every 32 seconds in 2018.

In addition, NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seat.

Once a child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely. And if children are under 13 years old, they should always sit in the back seat.

For more information on child passenger safety in Georgia, visit the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website at www.gahighwaysafety.org or on GOHS social media channels.

For more information on Safe Kids Georgia, visit https://safekidsgeorgia.org.

Recommended for you