Child Safety Advocate award winners announced

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the Automotive Safety Program presented eight child passenger safety technicians with the Child Safety Advocate Award for their extraordinary efforts in preventing injury and death among children in Indiana.

The winners were selected by region and recognized during a virtual ceremony.

“I want to congratulate this year’s Child Safety Advocates on their outstanding, well-deserved achievement,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Even during a global pandemic, they continued to serve as a resource in their communities and remained heavily vested in keeping kids safe.”

Indiana has a vast network of child passenger safety technicians, who are dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on matters related to child seat safety, such as finding the right car seat and proper installation. Now in its 25th year, the Child Safety Advocate awards program was created to recognize those going above and beyond in Indiana to prevent unintentional motor vehicle fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Every 32 seconds, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle is involved in a crash.

Research shows that when used correctly, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in cars.

“Many injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “Our Child Safety Advocates are passionate about sharing that message in order to save lives, and it was an honor to recognize their efforts this year.”

Indiana law requires children under eight to be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.

Parents and caregivers can learn more about child seat safety by visiting www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat, or to find a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, who can inspect and assist with the installation of a car seat, visit www.childseat.in.gov or call 1.800.KID.N.CAR.

“Our goal is to make sure every caregiver has their child’s car seat or booster seat installed properly, every single ride” said Marsha French, Automotive Safety Program Director.  “The Child Safety Advocates are champions in Indiana leading the way to achieve this goal.”

The following list includes the 2021 Child Safety Advocate Award recipients. Captions can be found by clicking here.

City Award Recipient Organization Photo
Michigan City Ann Rissman LaPorte County Health Department
Kokomo Barb Hilton Family Service Association of Howard County, Inc. JPG
Indianapolis Teresa Jones Indiana University Health JPG
Crawfordsville Amy Klossner Women’s Resource Center JPG
Indianapolis Carlye Gibson Indiana Department of Child Services JPG
Evansville Lacy Hanmore Ascension St. Vincent Evansville JPG
Batesville Megan Roope Margaret Mary Health JPG
Batesville Lori Mauer Margaret Mary Health JPG

Visit www.cji.in.gov to learn more about ICJI or preventinjury.pediatrics.iu.edu to learn more about the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Automotive Safety Program.

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