Guilford County Department of Public Health raising money for car seats

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County Department of Public Health is using a unique fundraiser to help the community it serves.

"A lot of our staff go out into the community and hear from parents that this is a huge need," Guilford County Department of Public Health Educator Sandy Ellington said. "Sometimes they have to borrow car seats to get babies home from the hospital."

To celebrate Public Health Month, staff at the health department can dress down if they buy a $5 ticket. At the end of the month, the money collected will be used to buy car seats.

"A car seat lowers the risk of injury from 71 to 82 percent if you are in the appropriate car seat," Ellington said.

Injuries are also reduced when safety seats are placed in a car correctly. Organizations like fire departments, Safe Kids Guilford County and Greensboro police can help parents install child car seats properly.

"We took a four-day school on how to install car seats," Greensboro Police Officer Matt Leahey said. "Everyone is different with different locking mechanisms to keep them stable in the cars."

With an appointment, the Greensboro police will walk parents through the process of how to properly buckle down a car seat.

"It's good to have someone that knows what they are doing help you install and give you the knowledge so if you need to reinstall it you can," Leahey said.

Leahey explains the safety seat lesson is not a widely known service provided by the Greensboro police. But the department is glad that they are able to provide the free service once a week.

"We are trying to help them protect their number one priority in life," Leahey said. "So when we do help them, that's what we see. A lot of gratitude."

To schedule a car safety check with the Greensboro police, call your nearest Greensboro police substation. The Guilford County Department of Public Health is also accepting donations from the public for its child safety seat fundraiser. Call Ellington at (336) 641-6667 for more information about making a contribution.