It is Child Passenger Safety Week and HealthNet is celebrating because of a grant we received from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The Child Restraint Distribution Grant program provided us with funding to purchase and distribute 100 infant car seats to expecting mother’s enrolled in our Better Indy Babies Program who can not afford one.
The funding allowed us to send our 8 home care coordinators to become Child Passenger Safety Technicians, so that they may teach these expecting mothers and families about the importance of proper restraints, and to demonstrate and instruct them on the proper installation of the car seat.
HealthNet’s Better Indy Babies (BIBs) began in 1989 to battle the infant mortality rate in Indianapolis which was one of the worst in the country. This program serves women in at-risk neighborhoods and the majority of them live at or below 100% of the federal poverty level. Our prenatal care coordinators visit with these expecting mothers and provide services to improve the health status of the women and to help them prepare their home and themselves for a new baby.
Many of these women can not afford to purchase a car seat and often resort to using or borrowing one that is not functional or safe, or none at all. This program will allow these women to have the correct seat needed once the baby is born and they will be educated on its proper installation, reducing the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
The cost of a car seat averages $100 – something most of our patients simply can not afford. We are currently serving 1,175 families in the Better Indy Babies Program – so more car seats are needed!