Austin County hosted on March 22 a car seat checkup event at the Austin County Fairgrounds.
This program was a partnership between Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Austin County, the Passenger Safety Project in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the TxDOT Yoakum District.
With assistance and support from numerous technicians and volunteers from Access Health WIC, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Fayette County, TxDOT-Yoakum District, the Texas Department of State Health Services, MET Head Start and CHI St. Joseph Health, the group assisted with the prevention of children riding unsafely in vehicles. Parents received a wealth of education which will assure that their children are riding as safely as possible.
During the event, 38 inspections were conducted and not one child arrived properly restrained. Eight children arrived inappropriately restrained with a seat belt. Thirty-three new car seats were distributed, and nine old/unsafe car seats were collected.
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 $2,159 per child age 0 to 4 and $2,606 per child age 4 to 7 for new seats distributed, and $622 per child for seat misuse corrected with an assumed 75 percent continued use. Based on this formula, the total economic impact for the 38 inspections at the event is estimated to be $59,844.