State awards $229,670 in mini grants for car and booster seats

Car seats help reduce the number of injuries and deaths among infants and children.

Low-income families in DeKalb can get car seats and training to install them correctly because of a 2019 Car Seat Mini-Grant awarded to the DeKalb County Board of Health. 

The grant, which will provide 360 car seats to families in the county, comes from the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Injury Prevention Program. It is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, which awarded $1,237,821 to the program’s Child Occupant Safety Project promoting safe transportation of children throughout Georgia. 

The car seat mini-grant program, which is active in more than 140 counties, provides child safety seats and education for local caregivers, and training for health care professionals, law enforcement, emergency medical services, firefighters and child care providers.

Rosalind Hill, the DeKalb board’s health promotion and prevention coordinator, said the grant will help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

“Receiving the mini-grant is a great opportunity that will help us protect our children from serious injuries and death in motor vehicle crashes,” she said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that car seats offer the best protection for children, and are most effective when installed and used correctly.

Nationally, car seats in passenger cars reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants, and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years but the NHTSA says that nearly three of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at risk.

Board of Health spokesman Eric Nickens says qualified recipients must be residents of DeKalb County, and be a current Medicaid or WIC program participant.

"To receive a car seat, participants will also need to attend the car seat class," Nickens said, adding that the Board of Health is targeting the county's non-English-speaking residents.  

With its grant, the DeKalb Board of Health will also offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

To apply for a car seat and for more information about the car seat mini-grant, email dekalb.hpp@dph.ga.gov, or call 404-508-7847.