Sept. 5, 2013 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics say the leading cause of fatalities for children between the ages of 1-13 is automobile accidents.
Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program is making an effort to improve the safety of children in cars through the works of one of its extension agents.
Brenda Maddox, FVSU’s Marion County extension agent, received the Buckle Up Award from the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute for her work in promoting the proper use of car seats for children. The GTIPI is an educational outreach unit of the University of Georgia. It is primarily funded by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
To be eligible for the award, an agency or individual must implement seatbelt or child seat safety awareness projects designed to reduce and prevent injuries and fatalities in Georgia. Maddox hosts car seat safety workshops, assists agencies such as Safe Kids of Columbus to make sure child seats are properly installed and checks seats for Marion County clients by appointment.
Maddox said receiving the award makes a big statement on the quality and impact of programs hosted by FVSU extension agents. “This is just one example of how FVSUextension is making a value-added impact in the lives of the citizens of Georgia at the county level,” Maddox said.
The Hurtsboro, Ala. native said she was inspired to promote child car seat safety in Marion County, because there is a need for the practice. “Many parents were not buckling children up, or they were securing them incorrectly. Also, parents who qualified for safety seats had to travel to Columbus for classes to get those seats,” Maddox said. Those circumstances influenced her to take training to be certified as a child passenger safety tech.
The FVSU extension agent whose held classes since December said she hopes to eventually host 3-6 classes per year.
Her next class is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Marion County Extension Office located at 111 North Baker Street in Buena Vista. For more information, contact Maddox at (229) 649-2525 or send her an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FVSU Agricultural Communications Department