Statewide Campaign will Raise Booster Seat Awareness and Give Kids a Shot in the Arm

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A new Georgia booster seat law that went into effect July 1 requires that all children under age 8 be properly secured in an approved car or booster seat while riding in passenger automobiles, vans, and pickup trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that only 6 percent of children nationwide between the ages of 4 and 8 are properly secured in booster seats when traveling in motor vehicles.

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death in Georgia, and they’re costly. In 2008, 14,154 children ages 6-8 were involved in motor vehicle crashes. Of those children 1,755 were injured and 10 were killed. Charges From 2005 to 2007 for 248 children who were hospitalized due to motor vehicle traffic-related injuries added up to $7 million. There was an additional $5 million in charges for the 5,111 emergency-room visits during those years.

The Give Kids a Boost campaign, which wiil begin July 18 in each of the state’s public health districts and continue for three weeks leading up to the start of the new school year, will raise awareness of changes to Georgia’s child booster seat law—and encourage children to get back-to-school immunization and booster shots.

Give Kids a Boost ties in with Georgia Family Connection’s strategies to ensure that children are ready to start school on time. We encourage county collaborative organizations that participate in back-to-school and similar events to help promote and participate in the campaign.

The Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are lead partners in the campaign.

Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be ready to give presentations and demonstrations at local campaign events, and Georgia State Troopers trained as technicians will provide free child safety seat checks for adults who transport children under age 8.

All 18 Public Health district directors have promised to support this campaign either at one main site or multiple sites. Public Health officials will vaccinate children who will need them for school at each event.

Look out for statewide press releases about the Give Kids a Boost, and contact your local health department to find out if there’s an event in your area, for additional details, and to discuss possible collaboration as this campaign fits into your county plan.