As part of a national week emphasizing safety for kids in cars, a state agency will provide 500 infant car seats to hospitals in Wisconsin for low-income families.
The donation coincides with national Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins Sunday.
The state Department of Transportation said motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
The DOT and the State Patrol want to remind parents, grandparents and caregivers that consistent and proper use of child safety restraints in vehicles can be a matter of life or death.
The State Patrol will begin delivery of child safety seats to approximately 25 hospitals, clinics and child passenger safety technicians for distribution to eligible low-income expectant mothers and families. The 500 infant safety seats and 400 booster seats for statewide distribution were purchased with federal funding.
"The best way to protect children in vehicles is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way," David Pabst, director of the DOT Bureau of Transportation Safety, said in a news release.
To help determine the proper safety seat (based on a child's age and size) and how to use it, the DOT produced an instructional video available on its program website at www.zeroinwisconsin.gov/ChildSafetySeats.