Lee Memorial Health System Foundation announced that it has been awarded a grant of $10,000 by The League Club Inc. to assist The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida in purchasing a mobile unit to expand the Hospital's Child Passenger Safety Seat Program.
"The mobile unit will enable us to inspect more child safety seats throughout Lee and Collier county, to keep children safe, and to educate parents, grandparents, and care providers on the importance of a properly installed child passenger safety seat," said Michele King, director of child advocacy at The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Research supplied by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that more than 80% of all car seats are installed incorrectly and vehicle crashes are still the number one cause of death in children age 0-14.
"In Collier County this year we are seeing as many as 95 percent of seats installed incorrectly," said King who oversees a team of six Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who conducted over 1,200 inspections last year.
Two of the technicians are located in Lee County, while others are based out of the Children's Hospital Advocacy Office in Naples.
The Children's Hospital Advocacy Office provides free car seat inspections at day care centers, safety fairs, and other agencies including the Guadalupe Center, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, the YMCA and the Child Advocacy Center of Collier County.
Parents and caregivers are often under the impression that fire stations, police stations, or hospitals provide free car seat inspections, but this is not the case. Unless there is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician on duty at one of those locations, they refer parents and caregivers to a certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Program.