Brenda Maddox, Fort Valley State University's Marion County extension agent, shows Suzanne Kelley, how to properly secure her new car seat Dec. 6 in Buena Vista.
Suzanne Kelley was able to save $40 towards a car seat after attending a free class on Dec. 6.
Kelley was one of 13 Marion County residents who attended a free car seat safety class taught by Brenda Maddox, Fort Valley State University's Marion County extension agent.
At the Marion County Extension Office in Buena Vista, Maddox provided information about height and weight guidelines for seats, and she offered hands-on training about topics such as how to properly secure a child in a car seat or booster seat and how to check car seat labels for air bag warnings.
Maddox, a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, said these topics are important because many children in the U.S. are not using age-appropriate safety restraints in vehicles. Also, drivers allow them to sit in the front seat, which is dangerous, she said.
"The class was informative, especially for new parents," Kelley said. The 45-year-old mother of two said receiving the free seat saved her money. Kelley also said the car seat she received is quality and will probably last longer in comparison to ones she's purchased for her 5-year-old son.
"In the past I purchased seats where the buckle would jam or would not stay locked. I don't foresee problems with the one I received," Kelley said.
In addition to the topics discussed, the class also watched video simulations showing how improper use can result in injuries and deaths. With funding from a U.S. Department of Public Health grant, registered attendees were provided seats with values ranging from $23-$90.
"It's obvious what people saved in dollar amounts, but the knowledge they've gained is more valuable because they can tell other people, which has the potential to save lives," Maddox said.