Agencies partner to provide over 500 car seats partner to provide over 500 car seats

Lee Health and the Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida have collaborated to provide over 500 car seats to families in need in Southwest Florida. The joint effort will help alleviate the shortage of car seats in the region, with the primary goal of ensuring safe car seat practices throughout the community.

The car seats will be available at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and through various distribution channels, including local outreach programs. Golisano Children’s Hospital is located at 9981 S. Healthpark Dr., Fort Myers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats are estimated to reduce the risk of fatal injury in a passenger car by 71% for infants (younger than one-year-old) and by 54% for toddlers (one to four years old).

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, numerous families lost their vehicles, many of which contained essential car seats for their children. The sudden surge in demand for replacement car seats swiftly depleted available funding sources and resources.

“We hope this donation will make a difference in a lot of families’ lives and help keep their children safe. Creating easy access to car seats is one of the best ways to ensure that every family has access to the necessary resources needed to keep their children protected,” said coordinator for Safe Kids Southwest Florida Julie Noble. “We are grateful to collaborate with the Healthy Start Coalition to provide education on car seat safety and these more than 500 car seats to help alleviate the urgent requirement in the community.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Golisano Children’s Hospital, who is the lead agency for Safe Kids Southwest Florida, on this important initiative,” said executive director of the Healthy Start Coalition Susan Beauvois. “By donating over 500 car seats, we are taking steps to ensure that every family has access to the necessary resources to keep their babies safe.”

The NHTSA provides the following recommendations for car seat safety:

  • Children under one-year-old should always ride in a rear-facing car seat
  • One to three olds should be kept in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. Once children outgrow the height or weight limit for their rear-facing car seat, they should ride in forward-facing car seats with a harness and tether.
  • Children aged four to seven should use forward-facing car seats until they reach the top height or weight limit of the car seat’s manufacturer instructions and then move to a booster seat
  • Eight- to 12-year-olds should be kept in booster seats until they are big enough to fit into seat belts properly
  • Be sure all passengers use seat belts correctly, with the lap-belt low on the hips and the shoulder belt across the chest, not resting on the neck. Never place a shoulder belt under an arm or behind your back.

To pick up and learn how to install a car seat, please contact a child passenger safety technician at Golisano Children’s Hospital by calling the Child Advocacy Department at 239-343-5101.

For more information on car seat safety, visit For more information about the Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida, visit

— familynews
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