County wins grant to provide car seats to eligible parents, guardians

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Local children from low-income families will be safer thanks to a one-year grant offering free child car seats, according to Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS).

On Wednesday, CCHS announced it was awarded a $88,500 Child Passenger Safety grant to provide families in need with new car seats as well as guidance on how to use them correctly.

The program will run through CCHS’ Public Health Nursing program and will serve to educate families receiving home visits from public health nurses in the county. Many home visit clients can’t afford new child car seats. 

 “Rent, food, clothing all become priorities over car seats, and many of our families use old, expired car seats,” said Marilyn Condit, a nurse program manager.

The grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which states correctly used car seats reduce fatality risk by 71-percent for infants and 54-percent for toddlers. Also, children in booster seats aged four to eight are 45-percent less likely to sustain injuries in a motor vehicle crash than children restrained by a seat belt.

During home visits, parents and caregivers can expect guidance from nurses, community health workers and certified child passenger safety technician, who will distribute and install no-cost car seats as needed.  

“CCHS encourages Public Health Nursing clients to take advantage of the grant-funded services to ensure that their children travel in the right seat for their age and size,” according to a statement by the agency.

For more information, contact Michelle Rivero, Child Health and Disability Prevention Program Manager, at (925) 608-5119 or michelle.rivero@hsd.cccounty.us

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