Car seat check event helps local families

A partnership between Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety, Nolan County Extension Service, Sweetwater Fire Department, Stanley Ford, State Farm Insurance and the Texas Department of Transportation made for a successful child safety seat event in Sweetwater.Texas A&M Agrilife Extension's Family Consumer Sciences agent Tasha Baxter and Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden served as the technicians and volunteer support was given by Doug Sitter State Farm, Nolan County 4-H, Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Big Country Medical Reserve Corps, and Texas State Technical College-Sweetwater. “All the technicians and volunteers made sure the event ran smoothly and that every child left the event riding safely," said Bev Kellner, Program Manager of Texas AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety. "It was evident that all the parents were thankful for the education they received at the event and the peace of mind in knowing that their children were safe and secure. This was a great opportunity to help families in Nolan County."At the event 19 child safety seat inspections were made and no child arrived correctly at the event. Four children arrived inappropriately in a seat belt and 12 new seats were issued.The proper use of child safety seats reduces the risk of injury and death, leading to reduced medical costs, avoidance of lost future earnings and improved quality of life. These economic benefits are an estimated $1,988 per child ages 0 to 4 and $2,347 per child age 4 to 7 for new seats distributed, and $558 per child for seat misuse corrected with an assumed 75% continued use. Based on this formula, the total economic impact for the 19 inspections at the event is $21,672.Those in need of a car seat check may call Tasha Baxter at 235-3184 or 338-5081 to set up an appointment. Car seats can be checked at any time and does not have to be done at a car seat check event. Car seats are available for those that qualify.