Making the roads safer for infants and children

WVU joins with law firm to promote Buckle Your Baby for Life

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Every time a parent puts a child or baby in a car without a safety seat, the little one is put at unnecessary risk. To help guarantee that every family in North Central West Virginia has access to a properly fitted child safety seat, the West Virginia Healthy Start/HAPI (Helping Appalachian Parents and Infants) project is teaming with a Morgantown law firm.

The law firm Hamstead, Williams and Shook created a nonprofit called Buckle Your Baby for Life to provide child safety seats for those who cannot afford them. Donations to the nonprofit will be used to buy safety seats for distribution to families in the eight-county area the HAPI Project covers. (To donate online go to http://buckleyourbabyforlife.org/contact.php.)

The HAPI Project is a cooperative effort of the West Virginia University Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, the West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and various community organizations. Federal funding comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

“We are excited about the project because we have had hospitals in our region reporting problems such as women coming in to deliver and not having a car seat to take their infant home in. There is obviously a need in our communities,” said Penny Womeldorff, Healthy Start/HAPI Project director. “We – along with Hamstead, Williams and Shook – also want to promote the use of car seats and seatbelts for children of all ages.”

“I have always been passionate about car safety seat awareness,” said Jacques Williams, senior member of the firm. “It is a tragedy that many families in our area have to choose food and other necessities over a proper child restraint due to finances.”
Families may be eligible if they live in Monongalia, Marion, Preston, Taylor, Harrison, Upshur, Randolph or Barbour counties.

Womeldorff added, “When families inquire about a car seat, the HAPI Project will also be able to offer services to families that qualify – services such as home visits, health education, parenting, care coordination and referral to other resources.”

If you are interested in obtaining a child safety seat, you can fill out an online application or email contact@buckleyourbabyforlife.org or call the law firm at 304-296-3636 and specify that you are calling about Buckle Your Baby for Life.

For information on Buckle Your Baby for Life see http://buckleyourbabyforlife.org/.

For information on the HAPI Project see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/obgyn/hapi.asp.



For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
AB: 08-27-09

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