In September 2020, The GIANT Company launched a community car seat safety initiative facilitated in partnership with the Pediatric Trauma and Injury Prevention Program (PTIPP) at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. As part of the initiative, the PTIPP team hosts at least four car seat safety stations per month in rotation in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties in Pennsylvania at various GIANT store locations. During these events, families can have their car seats checked for safe installation or reinstalled by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Families can also receive a new car seat or booster seat if needed at no cost. The ongoing program recently celebrated its first anniversary.
Funding for this program, including the no-cost car seats, was part of The GIANT Company’s $1 million gift to the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in 2020. The GIANT Company also contributed the use of its properties for hosting the car seat safety stations.
Every 32 seconds, a child under the age of 13 traveling in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash in 2018. Often times, injury and death can be prevented by correct use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. But according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 59 percent of car seats are not installed correctly. The goal of this initiative is to keep kids safer when travelling. The program’s main objectives include: 1) providing safety education, 2) making safety sessions more accessible to families in the region, and 3) easing the financial burden for families in need of a car seat.
Since September 2020, the PTIPP team has conducted or scheduled 35 total car seat safety checkpoint events across six counties to make them more accessible to families in the region. During its first year of operation, the initiative has ensured close to 300 children in central Pennsylvania travel safely in their family’s vehicles. Penn State Health Children’s Hospital promoted the events via its social media channels while The GIANT Company posted signs in its stores regarding the dates and locations.
“The GIANT Company is proud to sponsor the car seat safety program as part of our work to connect families for a better future. The number of checks conducted and car seats distributed over the past year demonstrates the necessity of this program. We’re looking forward to working with Penn State Health Children’s Hospital to bring the car seat checks to more communities this fall to help keep kids safe on the road.” Nicholas Bertram, president, The GIANT Company
“I was in the Lebanon area, and we had a family come who had been in a car accident that totaled their car. Every person in the car was injured except for the three-year-old child who had his car seat installed by one of the [Pediatric Trauma and Injury Prevention team members]. This dad said he came back to thank us for the trauma that was NOT inflicted on his child during the accident.” Angela Fickes-Mountz, car seat program coordinator, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital