LAFAYETTE, La. – Needy families in Louisiana are urged to apply for a free statewide program that provides child safety seats and education on proper installation. Demand is high for the program organized by University Medical Center New Orleans and the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force in partnership with the state’s Sonic Drive-In restaurants, according to a press release from organizers of the event.
Program applications are available here, and the deadline is Sept. 28 or sooner as seats are awarded to eligible recipients on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sonic employees throughout Louisiana raised $60,000 through sales of the 2017 “Tot Calendar.” Customers pay $5 for the calendars that offer special coupons for Sonic menu items. All proceeds of the sales benefit the safety seat program.
Now in its third year, the campaign has raised a total of $163,000, and in 2016 and 2017, it paid for 1,850 seats. A video with more information on the program is available here.
“Having a properly installed child safety seat is one of the most important things a parent can do,” says Bridget Gardner, a registered nurse and coordinator of the Community Injury Prevention Program at UMC New Orleans. “When used correctly, child restraints are the biggest factor in protecting children in motor vehicle crashes.”
“Sonic celebrates car culture and families, so kid safety is top-of-mind for us,” says Ted Kergan, owner of Kergan Bros. Sonic Group, the state’s largest SONIC franchisee. “It’s easy for our employees to support this program because we know it works. These car seats have literally saved children’s lives.”