On March 23, 2010, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and the Paulding County Health Department held their first Child Passenger Safety class to educate parents and caregivers on the proper use of child safety seats and improve the overall safety of Paulding’s children. The Department of Community Health’s Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response, Injury Prevention Program announced earlier this year that Paulding County would receive the 2010 Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant making this type of training possible.
“This grant will provide funding for the equipment and resources needed to inspect child safety seats and train the parents and caregivers how to properly install those seats,” said Paulding County Health Department Nurse Manager Teresa Knight. This program will help local level health agencies reduce the motor vehicle related morbidity and mortality rates in Georgia’s children. The funding for these efforts is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).
This program will provide free child safety seats to parents and caregivers that qualify financially through the Paulding County Health Department. Those caregivers will be trained on how to properly install the safety seats and how to properly restrain their child in those seats. “A correctly installed child safety seat can increase the child’s safety in a motor vehicle crash by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers,” said Paulding County Sheriff’s Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (H.E.A.T.) Deputy James Buckner. “According to recent studies, 3 out of 4 child safety seats are installed incorrectly through gross misuse, neglect, or simply being uninformed of the advances in today’s child safety seats and their safety features,” he added.
“Car crashes remain the No. 1 killer of America’s children between the ages of 2 and 14,” said Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge. Statistics show that children in rural areas are more likely to die from improper child safety seat use than are children from big cities. "While more than 90 percent of parents use child safety seats, the most common thing is that car seats are not installed correctly,” said Gulledge. This is something that the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and the Paulding County Health Department are striving to change in Paulding County.
Anyone wishing to have their child safety seat inspected is asked to contact the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office to make an appointment with a certified child safety seat technician. “Citations will NOT be issued to anyone with an incorrectly installed child safety seat when making these appointments,” said Gulledge. “However, deputies may issue citations for improperly installed child safety seats when encountering them on the scene of traffic accidents or traffic stops.”