In a collaboration effort, the Harlan County 4-H Extension Service and Kentucky State Police worked together to ensure those who needed car seats for their children had the opportunity to get one and have it properly installed during a recent event held at the Harlan County Extension Depot in Harlan.
Raymond Cox, HCES 4-H Agent, applied for a “Buckle Up For Life” grant from Toyota and Children’s Hospital, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to provide car seats for Harlan County residents. The grant was funded for 65 Evenflo car seats.
“We received three different types of seats: rear-facing recommended for children aged birth to 12 months, forward-facing recommended for children aged 1-3 years of age and booster seat recommended for children aged 4-7 years of age,” said Cox. “The seats don’t necessarily go by age, but should be determined by the weight of the child. After we were told we were getting the grant, we went to the Harlan County Health Department and family resources centers across the county to find names of those who might need a car seat for their children. We contacted the Kentucky State Police asking them to help with installation and we also had assistance from Harlan ARH Hospital.”
Cox said those receiving a car seat were required to watch a safety video presented by Dreama Wright, with the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, which taught child passenger safety to those receiving car seats. Recipients were also required to have Kentucky State Police Post 10 and Post 11 volunteer troopers show them how to properly install the seats in their vehicles.
According to Toyota officials a car seat can dramatically reduce childhood death and injury from motor vehicle crashes, but 75 percent are installed incorrectly.
Volunteering for the event Sgt. Greg Reams from Post 11 in London said “this event today is a free service to the community where we do a car seat check-up to make sure the child’s car seat and restraint are installed correctly. Nationwide and even in the Commonwealth of Kentucky there is about a 95 percent misuse rate. So, there is something that is not connected properly in the vehicle or the car seat. What we’re here for is to correct those small mistakes so that it doesn’t increase the possibility of injury or death to the child.”
Reams said all officers volunteering for this event have had an extra 32-hour training course to properly install different types of car seats.
Buckle Up for Life is a national education program, created in 2004 by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota, to save children’s lives. Over the last ten years, it has grown to include a network of more than a dozen of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals and has educated more than 17,000 people about the proper use of car seats and seat belts. Toyota’s sponsorship has provided funding for over 40,000 car seats for families in need.
Reams added anyone who has a question about whether their car seat has been installed correctly may contact KSP Post 10 in Harlan at 606-573-3131 or Post 11 in London at 606-878-6622 to schedule a time to come in and have their car seat checked.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde