Sept. 16-22 is Child Passenger Safety Week in Carbon County.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board approved a proclamation in honor of Child Passenger Safety Week.

Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard read the proclamation before Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, presented it to Mindy Graver, chairwoman of Carbon County Safe Kids.

The proclamation states: "Despite ongoing efforts to better protect child passengers in cars, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children from 1 to 13 years old. Riding unrestrained is the greatest risk factor for death and injury among child occupants of motor vehicles with an average of two children 12 and younger killed and 325 injured in motor vehicle crashes ...

"Child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used correctly, can prevent injuries and save lives, reducing the risk of death by as much as 71 percent for children younger than 1 and by 54 percent for children 1 to 4 years old. During Child Passenger Safety Week 2012, Safe Kids USA and its nationwide coalition network, with the support of sponsor General Motors, will be holding hundreds of vehicle safety events for families during the month of September ... Safe Kids USA will be communicating the importance of increasing proper restraint practices for children, such as keeping kids under age 2 rear-facing in their child safety seats; increasing top tether use for children who weigh 40 to 48 pounds in forward-facing care seats; and ensuring older kids stay in booster seats until they are seat belt ready."

Graver, who was accompanied by Evalynn Kuehner, Safe Kids member; State Trooper Shannon Yorke; and Girvin Janicki, store manager for Walmart in Lehighton, thanked the commissioners for their continued support of Safe Kids.

She then explained that a free car seat check will be held at the Lehighton Walmart Supercenter from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 18.

"The theme this year is put them in the right seat at the right time and use it the right way," Graver said. "Hopefully we can educate parents on putting children in an appropriate seat and use them according to the car manufacturers as well."

Yorke, who has been a certified car seat technician since 1999, explained that "statistics show that nine out of 10 times people using care seats are using them wrong."

She urged parents to attended the free check on Sept. 18 just to make sure their child is safe while riding in the vehicle.

"This is the perfect opportunity for parents to come to the car seat check and have their seats checked by a certified technician. They will not only check the seat to see if there is something wrong, they're going to educate the parents on what needs to be changed and how the seat should be properly installed. Have the seat installed properly will reduce the risk of injury or death."

She noted that if a parent cannot make the car seat check, they can call the state police and ask for a certified technician to look at the seat.

Janicki said that Walmart is looking forward to hosting the event and hopes many families will come out to it.

Gerhard thanked the group for their dedication to child safety and encouraged everyone who is a parent to attend the upcoming event.

In other matters, the board voted to execute and submit a proposal for administering the subsidized child care program for Carbon and Monroe counties.

Nothstein welcomed Amy Rontz, director of Carbon County Childcare Information Services, thanked her for putting together the county's proposal after the state decided to consolidate counties with this program.

Rontz explained that currently, the Child Care Program helps low income families pay for daycare while parents are working or training. The proposal now proposes expanding those services to include Monroe County.

Carbon will now wait to see if their proposal was accepted. If it is, Carbon would increase its staff from three to eight to accommodate the extra work.

The board also welcomed David Horvath, Mauch Chunk Lake Park director, who announced that the sixth annual Bluegrass and Anthracite Heritage Festival will be held at Mauch Chunk Lake Park from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.

He noted that the festival promotes and celebrates the area's local history.

There will be live music, crafters, hayrides, local historical exhibits and more.

Crafters and local historical organizations can still sign up by calling the park office at (570) 325-3669.

For more information on the festival, visit