[Hiawassee, GA] – Hiawassee Police Department was awarded the 2022 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, Hiawassee Police Department and Towns County Health Department work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Towns County. This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles.
And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved over 425 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.
“It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe,” said Chief Paul Smith. “The Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children, and we need to do everything we can to protect them.”
In Towns County, Hiawassee Police Department educates parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offers car seat inspections, and provides car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Chief Smith, who completed the week-long Child Passenger Safety Technician certification last year, provides one-on-one education and inspections or teaches in a group setting. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 120 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.
For more information about the Towns County car seat program, contact Chief Paul Smith at 706-896-2888 or [email protected] If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at [email protected] or by calling 404-463-1487.