Safe Kids Columbia is offering three events this week where parents can receive a free car seat installation. The organization provides education services for parents on how to keep their children safe.
The month of September is national Child Passenger Safety Month, and the focus shifts to car seats. Jenny Brooks, coordinator of Safe Kids Columbia, said the program provides more for parents than a car seat.
“It’s an education piece... we’re gonna show you how to do it correctly. And then they’ll remember because then they have their hands on the car seat, we’ve talked to them about how it needs to be done.”
Brooks said three-quarters of car seat installments are done incorrectly. The child’s weight, height, and age are all factors.
Road injuries are the leading preventable killer to children in the United States, and a correctly installed child safety seat can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Brooks said the cost of car seats are too much for some families. Safe Kids Columbia has partnered with the Columbia Voluntary Action Center to screen families that need a free car seat installation. Nick Foster, executive director of the Voluntary Action Center, said the program filled an important gap for struggling parents.
“If it’s something that they're going to have a hard time affording, and these can be expensive, it makes a big difference in helping them to provide that for their child,” Foster said.
Car seat inspections are done year round at the Columbia Fire Department or the Women and Children’s Health Center at MU by appointment. Appointments for screening and installation can be made at any time through the Voluntary Action Center or the Columbia Fire Administration.
The dates for the upcoming events are as follows:
Sept. 25: Centralia, Chance Elementary, 510 S. Rollins St., Centralia, Mo., 65240
Sept. 26: Fayette, Fayette R-3 Daly Elementary, 704 E. Lucky St., Fayette, Mo., 65248
Sept. 29: Jefferson City, 305 Rock Hill Rd., Jefferson City, Mo., 65109