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Metro Health to Provide Car Seat Safety Checks, Education

Metro Health will be making it safer for children who ride in car seats in West Michigan – thanks to financial support from the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.

The Foundation has given the organization funds to develop a Child Passenger Safety Program. This comprehensive program will include education on child passenger safety restraints for patients and community members, an opportunity for low-income families to receive safety seats at a reduced cost and training for Metro Health staff members to become child passenger safety technicians.

In Kent County, 96 percent of child safety seats that are inspected are used incorrectly. The program seeks to reduce that number through education and free community safety inspections – and to reduce the rate of injuries and deaths sustained by children in car accidents due to improper car restraints.

The program will:

  • Hold three events for community members to participate in a car seat check
  • Train 12 Metro Health staff members as child passenger safety technicians
  • Hold regularly scheduled classes for expectant parents and new parents to demonstrate and teach the safest installation for their car seats
  • Collaborate with Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids to provide seats at a reduced cost for families with a financial need

“Studies have shown that children are at risk when riding in cars due to improperly installed car passenger safety seats,” said Katie Wiebenga, Metro Health child life specialist. “At Metro Health we want to make sure that parents are equipped with the proper information on how to install their car safety seats and keep their children safe on all car trips, from going to the grocery store to taking a family vacation.

“More than 1,600 newborn infants begin their lives at Metro Health Hospital each year. The Child Passenger Safety Program will ensure that parents have access to the education to keep their child safe while in the car.”

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org