Back row, left to right: Deborah Sickmon, Trainer, SafeKids.org; Franceskah Alcena, Central Florida Healthy Start; Gary Bonick, Citrus County Fire Rescue; Twilla Sponholz, Episcopal Children’s Services; Yesenia Rutledge, Episcopal Children’s Services; Carmen Hernandez, Florida Department of Health in Citrus County; Vanessa Verdo, Florida Department of Health in Citrus County; Linda Thompson, Lead Trainer, SafeKids.org; Laury Leiva, Central Florida Healthy Start.
Front row, left to right: Brianna Porro, Episcopal Children’s Services; Blair Cope, Central Florida Healthy Start.
[Lecanto, Fla.] — Nine members of local agencies recently completed training that now designates them as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Agencies represented included the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Citrus County, Central Healthy Start, Episcopal Children’s Services, and Citrus County Fire Rescue. All participants completed four days of training, learning the ins and outs of car seat safety.
Called “car seat boot camp” by participant Carmen Hernandez from the FDOH, the training covered everything from the best car seat based on a child’s height and weight, to how to install car seats properly and other safety practices.
According to the NHTSA, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. During the year 2020, in Citrus County, three children between the ages of 0 and 14 died from motor vehicle crashes.
“Citrus County Fire Rescue is pleased to team up with the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County in order to increase the number of members in our community designated as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians,” says Chief Stevens. “We are thankful to have a collaborative partnership with their organization in order to reduce and prevent injuries to our residents.”
Choosing the right seat for your child and making sure that it is properly installed can be a factor in preventing accidents from turning into tragedies. The NHTSA has information for consumers on its website, www.nhtsa.gov, which can help take the guesswork out of car seat buying and installation.
Grandparents and other caregivers who transport children in car seats can also take advantage of these helpful tips. It’s important that children’s seats are properly used and installed each time they are in a motor vehicle. Eliminating other potential hazards, such as loose objects that could become projectiles during a crash, is another good habit to adopt.
While it may be tempting to save a few dollars and purchase a used car seat at a garage sale or thrift store, experts caution against this. If you can’t afford a car seat, you may qualify for a free or low-cost car seat. Contact Taylor Kirby at 352-513-6016 or email email@example.com for more information.
Parents, grandparents, or caregivers that want to be sure that car seats are installed correctly can schedule an appointment for a “car seat checkup” by calling 352-513-6016.
For more information about DOH-Citrus, go to www.CitrusCountyHealth.orgor follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.