Cub Scout Pack 305 and the Floyd County Police Department partnered to educate the members of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church’s Young Moms group on the ins and outs of child safety seats.
Pack leader Rusty Williams, an officer with the FCPD, arranged for two of the department’s officers with the safety enforcement unit — James Hinkley and Baker Harbin — to come to the church during one of the group’s meetings.
They then took the members through an inspection of each of their vehicles with child safety seats and made sure they were not only installed properly but also that they meet the state’s safety requirements.
“Child safety laws have changed so much in the last two or three years,” Harbin said. “The biggest thing we come across is a child seat is out of date, installed incorrectly or doesn’t fit the child.”
According to current Georgia state law, all children younger than 8 must be properly secured in a child safety seat when a vehicle is in motion.
“It’s not uncommon to come across a 5- or 6-year-old in a seat with nothing but a seat belt, which provides little, if any, protection in the event of a crash,” Harbin said.
“Car seats have a lot of parts and putting one in a car can seem a bit like putting a rocket together,” Williams said. “I knew that this would be an issue that a lot of the girls in Young Moms would have some questions about.”
Young Moms, in its sixth year at Fifth Avenue Baptist, is a support group for teenage girls who are parents or expecting and provide the basis to learn parenting skills and tips for parenting.
“We’ve been looking for someone to come and talk to the girls about car seat safety,” said Michelle Hankins, director of the Young Moms group at Fifth Avenue Baptist. “I was excited for this because it’s not something that is usually covered by most parenting books or resources.”
Williams said it was the church, which provides a meeting place for the Cub Scout pack, that encouraged them to interact with the other clubs at the church and it was a good opportunity to have a service project.
“Service is one of the greatest aspects of scouts,” Williams said. “A lot of the kids don’t see the effect of service until they get into scouts.”