Solano Public Health receives grant for car seat safety education program
November 15, 2023
SOLANO COUNTY – The Solano County Health & Social Services Department, Public Health Division is pleased to announce receipt of a $118,614 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to continue its child passenger safety efforts in Solano County. The increased funding from the OTS will continue to support the various program services offered by the Solano Car Seat Connection Program, which works closely with parents and caregivers on teaching proper car seat use and safe installation. Grant funds will support car seat safety classes, individual car seat inspection appointments, and community-wide car seat checkup events.
“The OTS grant will help strengthen the great work that we’re currently doing in helping Solano children be safe while being transported in a vehicle,” said Tracy Nachand, Supervising Health Education Specialist with Solano Public Health. “We’re excited to continue to provide an array of support services that meet the needs of Solano families.”
The Solano Car Seat Connection Program currently offers virtual car seat safety classes in both live and self-guided formats. The classes assist parents in getting a firm understanding of best practices for car seat safety. The classes also educate parents and caregivers on current car seat safety laws in California, such as keeping children under the age of 2 in a rear-facing car seat unless they weigh 40 pounds or more or are 40 inches or taller in height.
The Solano Car Seat Connection Program also supports the community of Solano with individualized car seat inspection appointments conducted by Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. All the program’s services are provided in both English and Spanish.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2021, 226 of the 711 child occupants under the age of 13 that died in motor vehicle crashes were found unrestrained in the vehicle. Those who were restrained were found to be improperly restrained. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has found that the proper use of car seats reduces the risk of fatal injury for infants by 71 percent and for toddlers by 54 percent.
“The OTS grant helps us to continue educating parents and caregivers with the goal of reducing the risk of fatal injury to the child in the event of a crash,” Nachand said. “Education on car seat safety and individualized attention that we can provide through one-on-one inspections is a valuable service that we are proud to offer. California law requires that children need to utilize a child safety seat or booster until they are at least eight years old or they are 4’ 9” tall. Often, we find children who are eight years or older who, because of their height, do not yet properly fit in vehicle seats designed for adults; they need to still use a booster or a higher weight limit child safety seat.”
The Solano Car Seat Connection program began in 1996 with the distribution of child safety seats and in-person classes for both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families in need. The program has since expanded to help thousands of families make sure their child is safe and secure riding in the car.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For information on the Solano Car Seat Connection, please visit www.vibesolano.com and www.vibesolano.com/classes.