Winnie Anne Wright
February 5, 2014
Valdosta, GA - According to the CDC, the number of children 12 and under who died in traffic crashes dropped 43% in the last decade. Officials say that's because more children are buckling up.
"Deputies, troopers and officers our highest priority is the precious cargo that parents are carrying in their vehicles", says Sgt. Mike Adams with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
Health officials say more and more parents are using car seats and booster seats. Still, a third of the 650 children who died in 2011 were not buckled up. The Lowndes County Health Department hosts a child safety class teaching parents the importance of buckling up and say isn't just about using car seats, but using them properly.
"I believe it is very important for everyone to be informed about putting children in car seats. A lot of times, like grandparents ,back in the day, didn't have to worry about car seats or seat belts, perse, but now it's a time when everyone needs to be putting children in car seats" says Cynthia Sharper, Child Safety Technician Program Associate for Lowndes County.
Sharper says many parents don't know that car seats have an expiration date, or that they need to be replaced if you get into a car accident.
"What you need to look for is that seat does list an expiration date. That it does have it somewhere on that seat. And if it is out of date, make sure you're not using that seat. You need to destroy it and definitely not pass it on to someone else."
If you are interested in child safety classes or obtaining a free car seat, contact the Lowndes County Public Health Department.