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Hospital gets $10,000 grant to expand car seat program

By Staff | Apr 21, 2009

Lee Memorial Health System Foundation announced that it has been awarded a grant of $10,000 by The League Club, Inc. to assist The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in purchasing a mobile unit to expand the Hospital’s Child Passenger Safety Seat Program. “The mobile unit will enable us to inspect more child safety seats throughout Lee and Collier county, to keep children safe, and to educate parents, grandparents, and care providers on the importance of a properly installed child passenger safety seat,” said Michele King, director of the Child Advocacy, The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Research supplied by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that more than 80 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly and vehicle crashes are still the No. 1 cause of death in children 14 and younger.
“In Collier County this year we are seeing as many as 95 percent of seats installed incorrectly”, said King who oversees a team of six certified child passenger safety technicians who conducted more than 1,200 inspections last year. Two of the technicians are located in Lee County, while others are based out of the Children’s Hospital Advocacy Office in Naples. The Children’s Hospital Advocacy Office provides free car seat inspections at day care centers, safety fairs, and other agencies including the Guadalupe Center, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, the YMCA and the Child Advocacy Center of Collier County.
Parents and caregivers are often under the impression that fire stations, police stations, or hospitals provide free car seat inspections, but this is not the case. Unless there is a certified child passenger safety technician on duty at one of those locations, they refer parents and caregivers to a certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Program. As the lead agency for the Safe Kids Lee/Collier Coalition, the Children’s Hospital’s child advocacy program staff are responsible for the recording and reporting of the related data to the Florida Department of Transportation and to Safe Kids Worldwide.
“Philanthropy is essential in providing these kinds of programs to the community,” said Tracy Connelly, director of development for Lee Memorial Health System Foundation.
The Child Advocacy Program in Collier County and the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program, specifically, are funded in part with a grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Grants to support the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program are also received from Kohl’s Department Stores through its “Kohl’s Cares for Kids” Program. The Florida Department of Transportation also provides free of charge seats for low-income families.
“Without the grant from The League Club, Inc. we would have been unable to purchase the mobile safety unit this year,” Connelly said.
“We are pleased to make this grant supporting the Children’s Hospital”, said Trig Cooley, The League Club, Inc.’s 2009 Civic Involvement Committee Chair, who oversaw the grant selection process. “We awarded $214,831 in grants from our Community Trust Fund to 32 organizations that are addressing critical needs and serving at-risk women, children and the elderly in our community.”

Source: Lee Memorial Healthcare System