According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes in the United States are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old.
In an effort to educate residents about the importance of child vehicle safety, Brenda Maddox, Fort Valley State University's Marion County extension agent, will teach a free two-hour car seat safety class Dec. 6, beginning at10 a.m. The class will be at the Marion County Extension Office located at 111 Baker St. in Buena Vista.
Eligible participants can receive a free car seat or booster seat and learn about seat installation and recalls. Also, parents can learn about the legal age, weight and height requirements.
"Some parents remove their children too early from safety seats, or don't properly restrain their child in a seat," said Maddox, a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician through Safe Kids of Columbus.
Effective July 1, 2011, the law changed, and now requires children under 8 years old to be properly secured when riding in vehicles. Violators are subjected to a $50 to $100 fine and points on their driver's license, Maddox said.
Maddox will also teach participants how to properly restrain a child in a car seat, what to look for when choosing a seat and when to advance from car seat to booster seat. Maddox said these extra precautions help prevent injuries and deaths.
Persons interested in receiving a car seat should pre-register by the Nov. 30 deadline because eligibility is determined during this step. To pre-register contact, Maddox at 229-649-2625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The car seat safety class is funded by a U.S. Department of Public Health grant.