Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.
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Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 and up, so if you’ve ever worried that your child’s car seat isn’t properly installed, consider attending a car-seat safey event at GEICO next Saturday, May 30. Free car seat inspections and installation help will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Also, people whose children are on Medicaid can receive a free convertible or booster car seat as long as they pre-register and bring their child’s Medicaid card to the event. You can pre-register by calling Healthy Families-Rappahannock Area at 540/288-1937.
The event, at One GEICO Blvd., is co-sponsored by Healthy Families, GEICO and the Virginia Department of Health’s Low-income Safety Seat Distribution and Education program.
Here are some startling stats from the press release about this event:
"Every year, more than 90,000 children under age 8 are injured in car crashes. More than 1,000 are killed…Approximately 70 percent of car seats are improperly installed or children are improperly restrained. Child safety seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers."
So, make sure your kids are buckled in properly. And make sure you are, too. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for adults up to age 35 — when they become the second leading cause, after accidental poisonings from narcotics. (And as we get older, diseases — especially heart disease — take over those top spots. But that’s another story.)